By Victor Ordonez
For students and parents alike, safety is a substantial component in determining whether to live on or off campus. Evidently, there are benefits and risks to both arrangements.
In 2016, there were three off-campus apartments that were victims of burglaries, whereas there were eight burglaries that took place on Rose Hill campus, according to unofficial numbers provided by Fordham’s Department of Public Safety.
These unofficial numbers provided by the Department of Public Safety show that there were five more burglaries on the Rose Hill campus than off campus burglaries. Public Safety noted that the number of burglaries will remain unofficial until its process of reviewing every incident of 2016 is completed.
Burglaries include any unlawful entry into a building illegally with intent to commit a crime, especially theft.
Although on-campus burglaries appear to be higher than those off-campus, there are other distinct variables to account for when weighing whether to live on or off the campus.
For instance, one of the three off-campus burglaries involved the rape of a Fordham student.
The victim of the attack and roommates had hosted a party in March 2016. Public Safety believes a partygoer remained once the party had ended. At this time, the perpetrator attacked the victim and allegedly stole property from the roommates before exiting the apartment.
As for the other two off-campus burglaries, students had a number of belongings stolen from them. The list of stolen items includes phones, wallets and prescription medication. In both cases, students were unsure as to whether the doors to their apartments were locked, according to Public Safety.
When compared to those who live off-campus, on-campus Fordham residents make up a larger population. To be precise, 55 percent of the Fordham student body lives on-campus, according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. News Department of Higher Education.
Four on-campus residence halls fell victim to theft, in addition to one burglary that took place on an off-campus Fordham residence hall. In several of these cases students could also not recall whether they had locked their doors, according to Public Safety. The remaining three burglaries took place in non-residential buildings.
Lindsey Garibaldi, FCRH 17, lives with roommates in an off-campus apartment on Hoffman Ave. “When I first moved off-campus I was a bit worried, and definitely a bit uneasy,” said Garibaldi. She mentioned multiple instances that made her question her safety living off campus.
Garibaldi said that she had called New York emergency services during one of those instances in early October 2016, but felt that they were of no help to her.
Garibaldi had noticed a vehicle parked outside her apartment on Hoffman Ave. The vehicle had one occupant and remained outside her residency for over 12 hours. As the situation remained unresolved, Garibaldi phoned Public Safety and found that they were of more assistance.
“Speaking with Public Safety made me feel safe off-campus,” said Garibaldi. “I felt supported by Public Safety both on and off campus.”
Much like John Carroll, associate vice president for Public Safety, Garibaldi was aware of off-campus burglaries that resulted from unlocked doors.
“It isn’t paranoia to lock your doors at night, you,” said Garibaldi. “I’d like to sleep knowing I’m safe.”
Carroll gave advice to all students in response to the on and off campus burglaries, several of which were a result of unlocked doors.
“Both our on campus and off campus students will markedly increase their safety and protect their valuables by continually locking their doors, both when they’re inside their residences and when they leave,” said Carroll.