White Student Union at Towson University will conduct nighttime campus patrols

Something called the White Student Union at Towson University has announced plans to conduct random nighttime patrols on the school’s campus.

Members of the group say they have taken this task upon themselves to protect the 20,000 or so students who attend the public school in Baltimore County, Maryland from serious crimes such as robbery and sexual assault, according to The Towerlight, Towson’s independent campus newspaper.

White Student Union members will outfit themselves with flashlights for the patrols, explains president Matthew Heimbach. No one will carry any weapons. However, female members will arm themselves with pepper spray. Some female members have also enrolled in unspecified self-defense courses.

Heimbach, by the way, goes by the much more impressive name “Commander Heimbach” on the group’s blog.

“One thing we’re doing at night is to have a male member accompany female members across campus or to night classes,” Commander Heimbach told The Towerlight. “Not because we’re terrified, but in college everyone is focused on themselves. We just want to make campus a better place. If we see a white person commit a crime against a person who is not white, we’re going to assist the person who was attacked every time.”

Heimbach added that members have been attending local gun ranges as a group to sharpen their skills, but not in a “military way.”

The Towerlight said it was unable to reach Towson University Police for comment.

At the school’s University Police webpage, though, you can download crime logs by month going back to June 2007. A cavalier perusal of the February and March 2013 logs reveals an array of generally predictable incidents including a good deal of theft, a smattering of sexual assault, one armed robbery, a peeping tom and a slew of intoxicated people.

At College Prowler, a site full of student-created reviews of undergraduate schools, Towson is ranked 1,087 out of a total of 1,309 schools — the bottom quartile — in the “safest campuses” category.

These nighttime campus patrols aren’t Towson’s White Student Union’s first foray into the news. “Commander Heimbach” and his troops found their way into the headlines recently when several group members attended the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.