Off Campus Student Robbed at Gunpoint

Dear Editor:

I am the mother of a Temple University Sophomore and very concerned about the lack of safety precautions the University has in place to protect the well being of their students living off campus! My son was robbed a couple of days ago, at gunpoint, by a gang of young men, while he was on his way home from working at the Recreation Center. They robbed him of his tennis shoes and money. He lives off campus, not by choice, but because the University sent out correspondences last year in the winter months stating that in order for a student to continue living in the dorms for fall ’05, they must pay their tuition in full before a certain date in March. I find this tactic appauling, especially since most students are not born with silver spoons in their mouths or their families are living paychecks to paychecks trying to afford the college tuitions and secure futures for our children. In our case, I have 2 children in college and I am in college myself. I have two other children at home, an elderly, widowed mother-in-law we take care of both physically and financially, my husband and myself. We have bills from student and parent loans as well as high tuition, our college students books,rent and our everyday expenses here in NJ. There is no way that we can come up with thousands of dollars at one time to pay tution in advance. When I found out what happened with my son, I immediately called the 1-tripp numbers to seek escort service to ensure that my son make it back to his apartment alive and uninjured. To my surprise, the gentleman who answered the phone told me that my son would need to come in and file a report but there was nothing else he could do. He stated the University no longer had the escort service and that I would need to call the Administration to complain. Also, Septa is not servicing the area my son lives in because the streets are under construction. The closest bus stop is blocks away. The area surrounding Temple is dangerous and the University is aware of this because why would they have had an escort service to begin with. I ask that you do a story on this problem so that we can bring this issue to light before either my child or someone else’s is killed or severely injured!
Something needs to be done! What if my son would have been shot and killed for his shoes. What would the University’s administration say to me then? Why could my son not live in the dorms? Why is the University not providing security for off campus students. Afterall, they are getting our money right? I haven’t been able to sleep or concentrate on anything since. I am scared for my son’s life! Am I going to get a call saying he’s been killed coming back from his job on campus or class? This should not have happened to begin with! Temple has a responsibility to see to it that their students are SAFE! All of the money in the world cannot replace a LIFE! Please help me bring this issue to light before something bad happens!

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