When students and their parents think of crime on Main Campus, they imagine late-night muggings, broken car windows and missing Owl Cards – all common listings in Campus Safety’s crime report.
What students don’t consider is their safety inside their residence halls and off-campus apartments – their homes away from home, where they eat, sleep and store everything worth keeping.
But recent events are the source of unrest among students living on and off campus, as The Temple News reports this week.
On Feb. 27, two residents at The Edge were followed to their apartment by a man they shared an elevator ride with. The man slipped past security when resident Amy Gargulio scanned her I.D. upon entering the building. The security guards – who are not required to check Temple I.D. cards since there is a machine that does so – did not stop or question the man, who police believe is mentally ill.
The man tried to force his way into Gargulio’s apartment, even after she threw hot coffee on him. Gargulio said she is not satisfied with AlliedBarton’s reaction, though a spokesperson said the guard who was on duty at the time has been reprimanded.
Two weeks later on March 11, Patricia Dullek and Eric Williams’ house on 18th and Monument streets practically collapsed. The newly constructed building split in half at the foundation following construction on an adjacent lot. After being told by their landlord that the house was too unstable for them to enter, Dullek and Williams returned to their home, which is occupied by three other tenants, to find some of their belongings missing and damaged. The tenants say they had seen the landlord and a few neighbors removing their belongings from the home.
How are students supposed to feel safe in their homes if they can’t trust the people who are supposed to be watching over them?
AlliedBarton guards are employed with the express purpose of monitoring the buildings they patrol. A machine cannot take the place of a person, no matter how fool-proof it proposes to be. It is a landlord’s job to keep an eye on the property, not take advantage of what is already an infuriating situation.
With limited campus housing and impending Yorktown evictions, student housing like The Edge and off-campus homes have become the norm for Temple students. Now that these options are becoming less desirable, it’s only a matter of time before the housing situation becomes and enrollment issue for the university.