Naïve students leave valuable belongings behind in the reading room. Regular travel insurance will not cover your losses if something is stolen from your workstation.På norsk
– I think students trust each other to much, Stig-Rune Backsæther, manager of the alarm central at the University of Oslo.
Last Wednesday two thieves were caught red handed while attempting to steal two laptops at the Faculty of Social Sciences (SV). The night before two laptops actually were stolen from one of Norwegian School of Management BI´s reading rooms.
Backsæther says it\'s a problem that students leave their belongings behind in plain sight. He asks them to pay attention to the fact that there might be unauthorized persons on university premises.
– I\'ve registered that students often leave doors ajar, without considering who might be let in. It\'s also important to report missing key cards in order to avoid reading room thefts, he says.
– Students should be insured
If a student is robbed of belongings in the reading room it is his or hers responsibility to have the right kind of insurance. As a student one is not covered by the so-called work environment paragraph, and the university therefore has no liability to pay damages.
– A special insurance is needed to pay for reading room thefts. Regular travel insurance is not enough, despite common belief. The reading room is defined as a common area but is also part of a workplace, information department of If Insurance tells us.
Norwegian Student Organisation (NSO) have offered this kind of insurance since 2007. Problem is, only 400-500 students have taken advantage of it.
– It\'s a shame that so few students are proberly insured. At the moment we are working on the development of the best and cheapest student insurance. Hopefully we will conclude our work early next year, Anne Karine Nymoen, leader of NSO, says.
UiO the least secure
Today the use of key card is the most important security measure at UiO. Guards and alert students come next.
BI School of Management has on the other hand implemented several measures to keep unauthorized persons at a safe distance.
– We use so-called security cables. Using these you can lock your computer to your workstation. We are also posting warnings regularly, Kristin Vigdal of the BI library says.
Vigdal is of the opinion that these measures have a positive effect, but like UiO she have survey of how often reading room theft occurs.
Oslo University College (HiO) have such a survey.
– All thefts that are reported are registered in our system, head of security at HiO, Jan Petter Flekstad, says.
– Uncomfortable knowing about thefts
Erika Braanen Sterri was there when the two thieves were caught at SV last week. She found the experience to be absurd.
– It was pretty uncomfortable. One of them cried out that he «wasn\'t a terrorist» with an Italian accent.
Braanen Sterri isn\'t afraid of thieves herself, but thinks UiO should look to BI to stop future thefts.
– I\'m not nervous and I trust my fellow students. Still the security cables seem like something for UiO to consider.
Students also carries part of the responsibility themselves, she says, and finds it to be a shame that so few are properly insured.
– Are you aware of what insurance is needed to cover your losses in the reading room?
– Isn\'t travel insurance good enough? Really? Perhaps there should more information about these sorts of things, Braanen Sterri says.
- Tuesday October 19th two students of BI School of Management had their laptops stolen from their workstations.
- Wednesday October 20th two thieves were caught while stealing laptops at Faculty of Social Sciences at UiO.
- Personal belongings stolen from university reading rooms are not covered by travel insurance. In order to cover their losses, students need special student insurance.
- Students are now asked to be more careful.
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