They said they want to add a patrol on Locust Walk that would provide walking escorts for students, even to sites off campus. A UA member also said he would lobby landlords to provide more lighting in off-campus areas. The students formulated their plan after discussing the program Tuesday with Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Assistant Director Eric Newman. Currently, Penn Watch volunteers patrol Spruce, Walnut and Locust streets in groups of four, but they do not cover Sansom Street past 39th Street or Baltimore Street past 40th Street. Students patrolling Spruce Street last night said they feel safe on the street now, but would be afraid to go on the expanded patrols if they entered areas that are more dangerous. UA Security Committee chairperson Andrew Tsai said that while most students he has recruited this semester to patrol campus are "gung-ho," several have asked him about their personal safety. "Some [recruits] do have some hesitation and anxiety," Tsai said. "That's why we stress training programs. . . We try to minimize the risk and see that students are best prepared." UA Vice Chairman Mike Feinberg said students should patrol new routes in groups so that Penn Watch can be effective while not jeapordizing any of its volunteers. "I would hope there would be five to six people on those routes," Feinberg said. "That's a must. When you think about it, you want Penn Watch routes to walk the most dangerous routes. . . .but you need the manpower so that the Penn Watch people are safe." Organizers hope to train up to 200 new patrollers by the end of the semester, but said the new security measures will be limited if students do not volunteer. The new routes are not planned to begin until next semester, although several organizers said they wanted to implement the changes sooner. They said they have not had time to schedule a training session with University Police officials, who must teach students about Penn Watch procedures. While expansion has been a priority since the beginning of the semester, Penn Watch founder Chris McLaughlin said Tuesday the recent outbreak of violent crime has underscored the need. "[Expanding Penn Watch] is not in direct response because we were planning it all along, but now there's more urgency," said McLaughlin, a Wharton senior. Penn Watch currently patrols between 12:30 a.m. an 2:30 a.m. "Instinctively, we think students stop studying around 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.," UA member Tsai said. "We might move it earlier." Tsai recruited 31 Student Activities Council groups to provide volunteers for Penn Watch during a SAC meeting last Sunday, and UA members are recruiting patrollers. UA Chairperson Duchess Harris said yesterday that students from all segments of the University have shown interest patrolling for Penn Watch. "Its seems like there's such a wide cross-section of people who want to get involved -- so many women and so many people of color." Harris said.Comments powered by Disqus
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