In a broadcast e-mail to the University two weeks ago, the department of Public Safety and Security announced the off-campus muggings of three Seton Hall students.
According to Gary Christie, assistant director of Public Safety and Security, the department has increased its presence to help deter crime and protect students.
“We’ve increased patrols on the perimeter of campus and tried to create a greater security presence,” Christie said.
He added that extra security cameras have been installed with a hope to install more soon.
Students seem to be noticing the increased security.
“I see security at the gates more than I used to. I feel they’re really trying to protect us,” freshman Emily Yatessaid.
According to Christie, the students themselves have also been more proactive in protecting themselves by traveling in groups.
“It’s the straggler coming back from the party that’ll see the problem,” Christie said.
Part of issue is the amount of people arriving and departing from the campus.
According to Christie, a great deal of upperclassmen live off campus, causing them to travel to and from the campus at various times of the day. There are also more parties at the beginning of the year, causing curious freshmen to explore surrounding neighborhoods.
Christie said this number will eventually decrease after a party catches the attention of the police.
“Many students are naïve. They come from bedroom communities – suburban areas. They just aren’t street smart,” Christie said.
One observation is that students might look at the ground as they walk instead of watching the area around them.
According to Christie, students can help reduce their risk of being attacked by being aware of their surroundings and staying on main roads with people and adequate lighting.
If attacked, students should cooperate and give up their belongings.
“Try to be an observant victim; notice things you can recognize,” Christie said. “You have a better chance of getting your stuff back that way.”
At press time, Christie couldn’t say for sure if more students were using the SHUFLY and CASE van than before the muggings.
Yates said she was definitely using them.
“If it’ll help me stay safe, I’m all for it,” Yates said.
Sergio Oliva of Public Safety and Security urges female students to participate in Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) courses offered at Seton Hall. The program is free and consists of four sessions about risk awareness, recognition, avoidance and reduction.
For more information, female students may contact Olivia.
According to Christie, Public Safety and Security has several other programs throughout the year to help keep students smart and safe.
According to public safety, as of press time, police have not caught the second mugger in the Sept. 2 robberies.
Jessica Card can be reached at email@example.com