A call for safety

The university should consistently use the TU Alert system to keep students in the loop.

Last week, the university confirmed that Temple Police are looking for two teenage girls in connection with an assault on a female Temple student who was punched in the back of head.

The student was walking down the center sidewalk of 13th Street near Oxford Street on Wednesday around 2:45 p.m. The university’s 1300 Residence Hall is within eyesight of where the altercation took place.

Jim Stix, who has lived on the 1500 block of North 13th Street for the past three years, said he witnessed the incident. He said one of the teenagers built her momentum as she ran toward the alleged victim and landed a “roundhouse” punch.

Stix said he later assisted the student, who was crying and shaking while the two alleged assailants ran away.

Despite an ongoing investigation and two allegedly violent teenagers roaming the streets near Main Campus, the university did not issue a TU Alert. A Temple spokesperson said none were sent out due to the lesser severity of the crime and because it occurred off campus.

On the university’s website, a TU Alert is defined as a method for communicating “information regarding an incident that occurs on campus and is deemed an emergency requiring immediate action on the part of the campus community.”

In March, four students said they were attacked off campus in three separate assaults by a group of youths. One of the beatings was carried out by a brick. No TU Alert was sent out then, either.

Last month, Temple announced an extension of its safety border. Officials said the spring attacks and a desire to improve the TU Alert system were factors in the patrol increase.

So for the university to downplay the seriousness of an attack on a student and shield itself behind the fact that the attack allegedly took place, barely, off campus is both irresponsible and counterproductive.

Stix said he found the fact that no TU Alert was sent out to be “troubling.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

The university needs to redefine and reexamine its methods for sending out TU Alerts in order to effectively keep the community safe and informed about these types of incidents.

If the university takes electricity seriously enough to send a TU Alert, then it should feel obligated to communicate details of a serious and concerning attack on a student – especially when the alleged attackers are still at large.

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