A pessimist’s perspective: Rare optimism for SHU

I am certain that I was not the only pessimist when the University announced new campus-wide safety initiatives. I could easily keep with the trend of this column and spew a rant for you to sit down and shut up to but I have found that I must abandon even my fervent pessimism and applaud Public Safety for providing me with something I have not felt in several years – a sense of safety outside the campus gate.

Please do not get me wrong – I will not walk alone outside the gates of Seton Hall after dark. If it is late enough, and the streets of South Orange have long been abandoned, I still feel unsafe. However, for the past few weeks, fewer PirateAlerts have jolted me awake in the middle of the night, notifying me of another crime. I was surprised on Tuesday morning when I awoke to find that a strong armed robbery had occurred around 6 a.m. To me, it was actually odd that it had happened. I was puzzled as to how.

The University Patrol has become a symbol on the streets of South Orange after dark. Living off-campus, I am often driving the streets in the later hours, and have lost count of the amount of times that I have passed by the yellow lights as they disappear down the dark, gas-lit streets in the Village. This has been, without a doubt, a deterrent for people loitering in the shadows of the streets, waiting for unsuspecting students to walk past. The instinct has been somewhat reversed – now those who preyed on students and community members walking back to and from campus must look over their shoulder for fear of getting caught.

And while I understand that some may continue to say that it is not enough or that it is just a gimmick that will wear off in a few months – I sympathize with your argument. But as a senior who is finishing four years at Seton Hall, I would rather abandon my well-documented pessimism and actually applaud the University for working to provide eyes on the streets when we need them the most.

It is true that if someone wants to badly enough, they will find a way to victimize someone. But as someone who has called South Orange home for four years, from living through periods that were certainly safer than others to feeling afraid to walk outside my front door at night today, I think that Seton Hall has answered a desperate plea for help. My only hope is that it sticks around for a while, making South Orange a better place to live outside the walls of Seton Hall.

Samantha Desmond is a senior public relations major from Vernon, N.J. She can be reached at samantha.desmond@student.shu.edu

Author: Staff Writer

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