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The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
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Safety Alerts Causing More Safety Concerns

Safety alerts failing to reassure students.

If you’ve attended UMass Boston for at least a year, and you check your school email occasionally, then you’ve probably read one of the Public Safety Notice alerts. The university sends one of these after each occurrence of danger. The Public Safety Notice is usually sent a day after an incident has been reported. The notice generally describes the culprits witnessed at the scene of a crime. After all, it is the campus’ responsibility to inform the students of any harm that they may be faced with.

It is great that the school is concerned enough about our public safety to inform us of these incidents, but honestly they don’t make me, or probably those who reside in Harbor Point and the Peninsula, feel any safer.

Ironically, these alerts scare us.

One of the most frightening notices that I’ve read in my time here was sent on Feb. 23, 2012. The notice reported that “a female student was robbed at gun point while walking down Mount Vernon Street to the Peninsula Apartments.” News like this is alarming because this student could very well have been a classmate or friend.

Having been a victim of armed robbery, (which I escaped through a stroke of good fortune) I’m fully aware of the fact that it could happen to anyone. Also, I’m relatively new to UMass Boston, so I, like many others, am not completely familiar with the surrounding areas yet. That being the case, when I receive email alerts like the one of Feb. 23, 2012, which stated the street where the incident occurred, I’m left utterly confused and clueless about the location. A friend of mine lives in Harbor Point. If I decide to visit, I’d like to know which streets to avoid.

To reassure the student body further, the school should consider sending out emails which inform us whether the culprits of these crimes have been caught or if they’re still at large. Right now, the emails don’t reveal any security measures being taken by the school—it’s almost like they want us to fend for ourselves.

Furthermore, since UMB doesn’t have conventional dorms, Harbor Point and Peninsula are sort of the stand-ins. This makes me wonder: why isn’t there better security for the students living in those apartments? These incidents are recurring, so I suggest an increase in security personnel, considering the students who live there pay tuition and board.

Also, this is a commuter school, so the shuttle buses should run later (especially when there are late events taking place on campus.) A large percentage of the students at UMass Boston take shuttle buses to and from either Harbor Point or the JFK train station, and the buses stop running at 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursday and even earlier on Fridays. So if, for whatever reason, a student is unable to leave school before that time, he/she would be forced to walk. This is very unsafe and could lead to more incidences of student endangerment.

UMass Boston is a commuter school; shouldn’t the shuttle buses at least run as late as the subway? The school should consider implementing this, at least for safety’s sake.

In the meantime, I suggest that people walk with companions when leaving campus late, particularly since the days are getting shorter as winter approaches. Also, if you live in Harbor Point or the Peninsulas, make sure that your home is securely locked at all times: doors, windows, and such.

Remember to stay safe everyone!