The start of a new semester brings thousands of new undergraduates, grad students, faculty members, researchers and staff members to Penn's campus.<P> And each year, more than a handful learn the hard way that the University is indeed located in a city, and that life in a city comes with its own unique risks. And crime is one of those risks most likely to create anxiety in a first-time urban dweller.<P> But the good news is that Philadelphia's many charms can be enjoyed without danger. By employing common sense, using their wits and taking a few basic precautions, members of the University community can reduce their risk of becoming victims.<P> When possible, students should walk in groups, especially late at night. And when a friend is not available, they should take advantage of the University's late-night escort services.<P> Moreover, Penn Police Chief Maureen Rush has advised students to stay off the streets in the wee hours of the morning, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., when Spectaguard patrols are not on duty.<P> And students should also take care to not go out if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. <P>Would-be robbers can spot an easy victim, and there is no reason for students to make themselves targets by going out in an impaired condition.<P> While crime has fallen significantly in University City over the last several years, last weekend's string of robberies on residential blocks near campus reminds us that crime will happen in any urban setting.<P> But the proper response is not for students to shutter themselves in their rooms after the sun goes down; nor is it to complain that Penn, with the largest private police force in the state, is ignoring the safety concerns of its students. Rather, enjoy what the city and campus have to offer, but do so in a safe and responsible manner.<P>Comments powered by Disqus
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