Yet another shooting has occurred near Temple’s campus, which the majority of Temple students will never hear about. Last Friday, Sept. 24, two people were shot at Broad and Jefferson streets – two blocks from where Temple claims its campus begins. (Incidentally, also the crossroads of the shopping center containing Fresh Grocer, an area I would be willing to bet Temple highlights on its campus tours.) I waited more than a week for information from Temple about this shooting, and as always, I got nothing. I once wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper about a shooting that occurred at 16th Street and Susquehanna Avenue, two blocks from White Hall, which students were never informed about. That letter was never published, so now I am turning to a source closer to the institution to get my message out, particularly to younger students.
Temple students and parents of Temple students need to take initiative to seek out safety information themselves. Unless it occurs directly on campus, we will never hear about it; if it is even one or two blocks “off campus,” we won’t find out. I understand why Temple doesn’t tout its danger on its campus tours or at orientation meetings, but once students are matriculated, these dangers become a fact of life. When Temple hides these incidents, it becomes a lie of omission. Temple can’t guarantee housing for sophomores; even some late-accepted freshmen do not get housing. These students are forced to live one or two blocks off campus at a minimum. By not providing these students with housing and then not providing students with the most up-to-date, accurate information about the areas in which they are forced to live, Temple endangers every one of its students.
I understand the university will say it does not want to cause unnecessary panic, but if people are not made fully aware of what can (and does) happen at certain intersections at certain times of the day, the result could be much worse than a little panic. I’m a senior, and by now, I have figured things out for myself, but freshmen and sophomores, particularly those drinking in off-campus houses, need to be as informed as possible to make safe decisions. Until Temple chooses fully protecting its students over fully protecting its façade of being a safe campus, I will never fully trust or respect this university.
Class of 2011