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Penn students feel as though the Brandeis study left out certain nuances of their Penn experience.

Worried about leaving your place uninhabited during winter break? Penn’s Division of Public Safety has your back.

As students leave their residences for break, they need not fear that their property is at risk. During Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks, students can take advantage of free residence visits by Penn Police to check for signs of criminal activity or security breaches.

This service, which has been provided for years, is free and available to all residents in the Penn patrol zone, stretching from 30th to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue to Market Street. In the past, exterior examinations of residences have successfully found unlocked doors, open windows and other potential security threats.

Some students are hesitant to use a program involving the police. A sophomore fraternity brother at an off-campus house, who wishes to remain anonymous, felt that the program was unnecessary.

“If we need someone to check up on our house we would just ask the landlord,” he said. “Kids in this house leave their bong out ... don’t want the cops seeing that.”

However, the danger of burglary always exists and DPS says that the special checks focus on the exterior of the building. Over Thanksgiving break, a house on Spruce was burglarized after one of the residents unwittingly left a door unlocked. After not signing up for the program, College senior Michael Palamountain thought that if he and his housemates had signed up, they may have avoided the trouble.

“We like to think of ourselves as immune to crime, living in the Penn bubble but we cannot let that blind us to the reality that we live in,” he said. “If we don’t protect our personal belongings and property, there are people who will be cunning enough to take it from us when we least expect it. I think this service offered by the Penn Police would have been a great service to us, to help us prepare, but we must also remain vigilant ourselves.”

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush had other recommendations for students leaving their homes unattended over break.

“Remember to lock your doors and windows before you leave for break,” she said. “Also close your curtains or blinds so expensive items are not in full view. Remind your roommates to do the same. As extra insurance, take advantage of our Special Checks Program.”

The service for the winter break period will begin at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 and continue until Jan. 8. Students can find more information and sign up on the DPS website.

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