This fall's crime wave has intensified sorority members' already mounting concerns about the safety of chapter houses, located on two of the most dangerous areas around campus. Members say their security concerns are similar to those of all off-campus dwellers, but they notice more quickly the problems of living off-campus because all seven sorority houses are off campus. They add that they are more equipped to mobilize than other students because they already have a structure within which to work. Sisters have attempted to address safety problems through security forums during Panhellenic Council and individual chapter meetings, and by cautioning each other on safe practices when traveling at night. But sisters said last week that such measures are long-term solutions, and in the meantime members must remain on guard. Several members said they never walk alone at night anymore and a few said they do not even feel safe in a group, forcing them to take Escort Service whenever they need to be out at night. Several members living in the houses said they feel threatened even inside their houses. During the night, they said, strangers have climbed their fire escapes, looted their trash and slept on their front doorsteps. "We don't know what to do anymore," Panhel President Anita Hsueh said. Phi Sigma Sigma, located on the 4000 block of Walnut, has put bars on its first-story windows, and like most chapter houses, has multiple bolts on all its doors. Few members of Delta Delta Delta, on the 4000 block of Spruce, will park their cars in the lot behind the house. On the high-crime block, Tri-Delt officers provide information for members who want to buy mace. Tri-Delt President Laura Lazarus said that the University owes sororities a secure environment since they do not have an area as safe as Locust Walk. "If they are not going to put us on campus, it's their duty to protect us where we are," Lazarus said. Hsueh said last week that sorority members have discussed several measures which would improve security such as increasing foot patrols and moving sorority houses together so that they were all in the same area. She added that sorority presidents voiced security concerns during their annual meeting with President Sheldon Hackney two weeks ago. Members said their sisters are vulnerable when they walk off campus for their weekly meetings. Between 700 and 900 sorority members attend nighttime chapter house meetings once a week. "Tuesday nights make me very nervous," Sigma Delta Tau President Suzanne Weiss said last week. "We will have about 100 girls walking toward our house." Many sorority members said that they encourage other members to walk in groups or to take Escort Service. But one member said walking in groups may not be safe. "Even when people walk in large groups, they can still be mugged," Tri-Delt Chaplain Farina Talbert said yesterday. And some sorority officers said that security concerns is a financial burden as well, because members hesitate to move into the houses on the fringes of campus. "We have problems filling our house," Phi Sig Sig President Jennifer Jones said Sunday. "Parents are concerned about security. We're on one of the worst blocks."Comments powered by Disqus
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