Many students have perhaps been aware of the e-mails received from UR Security, or the quick briefs included in the Security Update of the Campus Times that draw attention to an aspect of campus life that, hopefully, no one should worry about their personal safety.
The UR Security Services, in accordance with the Clery Act, has recently published their annual crime report, “Think Safe,” and will be dispersing copies of it throughout the university’s campuses.
It is available on UR Security’s Web site, http://www.security.rochester.edu and will soon be mailed to the campus community.
The report breaks down the campuses into the River Campus/South Campus, the UR Medical Center and the Eastman School of Music/Memorial Art Gallery. According to the statistics presented by the report, the number of crimes reported in the last three years at Eastman was small in comparison with those of other university campuses.
In the past three years, one robbery was reported for the Eastman campus and the Memorial Art Gallery, along with six burglaries, four motor vehicle thefts and one forcible sex offense. The River Campus/South Campus, with considerably larger populations, reported significantly larger numbers of crimes.
The Eastman campus comes in contact with the Rochester community on a more regular basis than other campuses. “Eastman is located in the end of the downtown district and receives a lot of pedestrian traffic,” Director of Security Walter Mauldin said. This creates the opportunities for incidents to occur rapidly in the sidewalk areas of the campus.
“There’s certain people that stay around Eastman all day with nothing to do,” junior Maggie Lubinski said. “I just try to be cautious. I try to find someone to walk back with when I come back late at night.”
Lubinski mentioned that she’s noticed security has installed several new, blue emergency phones around the area in the recent past and that this makes her feel marginally safer, but prefers to see a greater presence of security outside on the street.
The numbers from the annual report seem to indicate, for the most part, that personal safety at Eastman seems to be something that students do not need to worry about as much. “The numbers themselves are good news,” Mauldin said.
However, there have already been several incidents involving the robbery of Eastman students in the school’s vicinity. The most recent was one, in which an Eastman student had her ID-card stolen and was stalked near the school. Another Eastman student was robbed as he was walking back to his residence, giving up his cell phone to the suspect.
At least one arrest has been made in connection with one of four purse snatchings that occurred near the school in June and July 2005. The suspect was positively identified by a witness and charged with grand larceny. However, Rochester police have not been able to identify the perpetrator(s) of the other three incidents.
Mauldin mentioned that five new cameras have been installed in the area and each officer is required to make at least four patrols around the sidewalks during each shift. Students are also required to present their ID upon entering the Student Living Center to verify that they are residents.
An Eastman community safety committee recommended many of the changes that have been implemented. The group actively dialogues with UR Security.
Another project in the works is a Neighborhood Empowerment Team office at 10 Gibbs St. The station is a cooperative between neighborhood residents and city staff to bring the city government closer to the community. With these suggestions, UR Security hopes to help students remain focused on their academics and enjoy their experience in Rochester.
“You just have to be careful and smart. Let people know where you’ll be going and when you’re coming back,” Lubinski said.
Figueredo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org