Publicizing Safety for Students and Residents
It is 9:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night and you get a knock on the door. One of your roommates opens the door slowly and realizes it is a solicitor claiming to sell window treatments. Realizing that it is just a sorority house filled with girls, the man then begins asking inappropriate questions, an unsafe environment outside of the borders of Hofstra University.
Melissa Usdan, a student of Hofstra University, experienced that in her off-campus house. Only blocks from campus, Public Safety is unable to protect the students who live in off- campus housing. “Public Safety doesn’t deal with off campus issues, at least that is what I was told. So I don’t feel protected by them at all even though I live literally one minute from their office,” said Usdan.
The borders of Hempstead and Uniondale are no strangers to crimes that affect Hofstra University students who live off-campus. Students have experienced unknown solicitors knocking on their doors at late hours of the night asking inappropriate questions.
Regardless of the amount of safety information given, students will still run into issues. Hofstra University has been publicizing and trying to ensure students living on and off-campus feel safe.
Off campus student Miles Schuss says, “I do feel safe living off campus. There are a dozen Hofstra student houses on my block and with the new commitments from the university, Hofstra has their bases covered.”
Karla Schuster, Assistant Vice President of Hofstra University Relations explained the attempts that are made to not only publicize students of safety issues, but what Hofstra has been doing in order to keep students feeling safe around campus. “Staying safe is something that cuts across all kinds of geographic areas,” she said. “Whether or not you are in a residence hall or a house off-campus, travel in groups when you can. Make sure you are walking in areas where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic, where the streets are well lit. Those pieces of advice are universal and we would tell students regardless of where they are living,”
Living off-campus brings greater safety issues to students since households can lead to robberies and other issues. Advised by administration to live on campus, Public Safety still does circle the outside borders of Uniondale and Hempstead to promote student safety. “Our Public Safety officers, although they do not have jurisdiction outside of the campus borders, they do often make swings in their cars in the general area,” Schuster said.
Working with both Hempstead Village Police Department and the Nassau County Police Department, Public Safety is constantly being updated and made aware of new trends and situations that could be happening with students. “Trends change and our public safety officers need to keep up with that,” stated Schuster.
Hofstra has created a Night Shuttle on October 21, 2014, which runs between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., in order to keep students from walking alone in the dark. The Night Shuttle makes stops every half hour at places where many Hofstra students are often socializing or spending time.
For more information on Public Safety visit: http://www.hofstra.edu/About/PublicSafety/pubsaf-tips.html