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[Caroline New/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

For some University students, the idea of living in the fortress-like Quadrangle requires all the bravery they can muster for life in the wilds of West Philadelphia. For others, the enticement of life out of the dorms is enough to coax them out of the hands of University-provided security and into the wily world of off-campus housing. Still, are those who move into houses and apartments in the blocks around campus relinquishing safety for freedom? Wharton senior Adam Adler certainly doesn't think so. "I feel really safe," Adler said. "There are Spectaguards pretty much all around us, and I have always felt really safe. I have been in the same apartment for three years, and I have never had a problem with anyone around here." Patricia Brennan, director of Special Services at the University, concurred. "We have saturated this area with an additional 114 cops over and above what the city provides," she said. Still, students living off campus should be mindful of certain things, just as students living on campus should be, Brennan urged. She noted that students should walk in groups or utilize the walking escort service, which the University provides from 8 a.m. until 3 a.m. everyday. "I don't know why anybody wouldn't use the walking service," Brennan said. "First of all, it's nice just to have someone to talk to." Miki Farcas, director of the Office of Off-Campus Living, had a small warning for students moving into non-University run properties. "It's important to understand for people who move off-campus that they are much more in charge of their own safety," Farcas said. "Once they move off campus, they are in charge of their safety, their roommates' safety, and they should be more mindful." Farcas had additional recommendations for undergraduates who decide to move off campus. It is crucial that students make sure that if their house has a porch or is near an alleyway, it is well lit, Farcas explained. She also urged students to make sure that any house they chose had a solid front door with a deadbolt lock. Students living off campus should also think about a number of fire safety issues, Brennan said. She recommended that students who wanted to be able to lock their bedroom doors had an alternative fire exit in their apartment. Students should also have working carbon monoxide detectors in their apartments, particularly in the winters. Brennan addressed another crime that goes along with living off campus -- theft of items from cars and unsecured areas. "Leaving your bike out on the porch is just an invitation for a thief," Brennan added. Farcas stressed that students should be most watchful when they move in or out of their house or apartment because those are the times when others are on the lookout for things to steal. According to both Brennan and Farcas, both the University Police and the Office of Off-Campus Living work closely with area landlords and students who decide to live off campus. Those students who do live off campus often feel they have made the right decision for a variety of reasons. Rosalie Candido, a College sophomore, certainly feels comfortable living off campus. "In some ways I feel even safer [than when I lived on campus] because I have less of a walk when I'm coming home from going out," Candido said.

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