On Sept. 23, Jennifer Griffin, Temple University’s Vice President for Public Safety, released a statement emphasizing a list of resources for students following shootings on 13th Street near Jefferson and 17th and Oxford Streets.
During the shooting, a bullet hit Temple’s 1300 Residence Hall. No students were harmed in the shooting, but an eight-year-old girl suffered a graze-wound to the head from another stray bullet and a 20-year-old man was shot in the leg.
In Philadelphia County, there have been 1,395 non-fatal shootings and 370 fatal shootings this year alone, according to the Philadelphia Office of the Controller.
Amid recent violence within Temple’s patrol zone near Main Campus, the Editorial Board urges students to take advantage of resources provided by the university.
This past August, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser announced that the university’s walking escort program would now cover Temple’s entire patrol zone and the surrounding areas that house off-campus students. Students can request a walking escort by calling 8-WALK (9255) from a campus phone or 215-777-WALK (9255).
The RAVE Temple Guardian app allows students to designate a “guardian,” like a friend, family member or Temple University Police officer as an emergency contact, while the student walks home. If the student doesn’t make it to their destination in the time allotted, the app will alert the designated guardian.
Resources like RAVE and the FLIGHT program provide students with a safer alternative to walking on and off campus alone.
FLIGHT provides students with a pick-up and drop-off service that travels along two fixed routes on campus. On Aug. 20, Temple adjusted the FLIGHT service to the fixed-route system to improve wait times in comparison to the original service model that ran on-call.
The Editorial Board also recommends that students be aware of their surroundings when walking on and off campus. Students should walk in groups in well-lit areas, and if any student feels they’re being followed they can access the Code Blue Emergency Phones that are placed throughout campus to call for help.
As gun violence continues to disrupt North Philadelphia’s community, the Editorial Board urges students to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe by utilizing tools and services provided by the university.