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Around 10 p.m. last Monday, I found myself alone on 42nd and Spruce, attempting to sprint home in my flimsy flip-flops. I felt unprotected and vulnerable.

There was not a soul in sight. And to my shock, that included Penn Police.

Oddly enough, security guards are not stationed in highly concentrated student residential areas. Rather, there are clusters of them positioned outside of restaurants and commercial enterprises.

As I see groups of security guards chatting at their posts, it seems clear that this is not the most efficient use of Penn Police officers.

Then it hit me: Penn Police protects our stores, not our students.

I am pleased to report that you should be safe during your hoagie purchase on your midnight Wawa run. I am not so certain about your trip home one block past Copabanana, though.

When I called Penn Police to ask if they could rectify this situation, their response was, “Call Penn Walk to walk you home,” since the situation will not be changed soon.

Perhaps if more people call Penn Police, they will eventually listen. Demand that more security guards (or even one) be placed in the most at-risk blocks — off-campus student housing areas, from 40th to 43rd streets between Sansom Street and Baltimore Avenue.

I understand that walking alone in West Philadelphia after dark could be treacherous, but there are actions Penn Police can take to make students not only feel less at risk but actually be less at risk.

Jen Shulkin is a College junior. Her email address is

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