First, I should report to you that Patrick Leroy is doing well, considering all he has been through. I visited him yesterday. Valarie Swain Cade -McCoullum was with him a few hours ago, and she reports that he is looking and feeling much better. His doctors expect him to make a good recovery. That is very, very good news.
Second, and I want to be clear about this with you, what happened to Patrick Leroy is an outrage. We can never, ever accept senseless acts of violence. We can never, ever explain them as a "fact of life" here, and we will not. You feel outrage. I do, too.
Are we committed to making this a safe place to live and work? Absolutely. We spend $15 million dollars a year on safety and security here. We support one of the largest private police forces in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We provide one of the most extensive networks of escort services of any university in the country. Those are facts, and you should know them.
Can we do more? We have to.
Can the city of Philadelphia to do more? It must.
We will do more, beginning here tonight, to supplement what we already do--and what we have committed to do in the long term:
These things, I think, will help. Meanwhile, we will accelerate our plans to install state-of-the art electronic security systems in our buildings and residences. We will encourage and support Mr. Seamon and his officers as they, and we, implement the strategic plan for the Division of Public Safety. And we will use every available university resource to identify, arrest, and prosecute those intent on victimizing us. We want to deliver the strongest possible message to the criminal element--stay away from the University of Pennsylvania. The strength of our new investigative presence--eight experienced investigators whose task is to arrest violent offenders and get them off the streets--is already being felt; 17 of 28 reported cases have been "cleared" to date--and that by any law enforcement standard is an exceptional record.
We are grateful to the Philadelphia Police Department for the special assistance it is prepared to offer us, but we expect more. This university is a vital economic and intellectual force in Philadelphia, and we have every right--you have every right--to expect its protection on city streets.
Many of you have expressed to me and to others that you want to help. That gives me great encouragement. Together, there are 40,000 pairs of "eyes and ears" in our community. If you see something or someone suspicious, report it. Watch out for each other; we are all in this together.
I encourage you, too, to contact Mayor Rendell. He and others in city government should know, indeed they must know, how you feel--and what you expect of our elected representatives. This is particularly important in terms of requesting additional street lightsthese are city streets--and the timely repair of existing lighting.
When I was here at Penn 25 years ago, the University imposed great restrictions on its students--particularly its female students. You could not come and go as you pleased; there were curfews. We signed inand we signed out. The University functioned as a parent. It wanted to know where you were and with whom. It dictated your comings and goings. Well, I don't have to tell you that times have changed--and much of what the University accepted as a surrogate parent then, is in your hands now.
Even though times have changed, my sense of responsibility for you has not. I take it very seriously. I urge you to take advantage of the many services we provide for you here--escort services, counseling services, and other student servicesand be smart.
-- Judith Rodin at the open meeting with students Thursday, September 26, in Zellerbach Theatre
Dear Penn Students:
Random acts of violence have increased in our country and in our community. These acts have a terrible impact not only on victims and their loved ones, but on all members of the Penn family. We already have in place institutional resources to provide prevention and educational outreach including specific advice on responsible safety and security measures each of us can take. Even though campus police have increased patrols on and around campus, we urge you to continue your vigilance in using these resources and in closely following these guidelines.
Please take extra precautions while traveling. Use the safety services that Penn has made available, particularly the campus bus and escort services. Avoid walking alone after dark, and use Bluelight phones to report any situation when you feel threatened.
In the coming days, you will hear of additional services and supports regarding safety at Penn. The Penn Police welcome all calls for safety and security information and assistance--both for yourself and for your group or organization. The number you can call, for Penn Safety and Security Special Services, is (215) 898-8848.
We urge you to exercise good judgment in your travels and to avoid circumstances that increase your risks including the following:
Working together, we can help to keep our campus safe.
-- Thomas Seamon, Managing Director of Public Safety, and
Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for University Life,
by e-mail 9/26/96
Volume 43 Number 6
October 1, 1996
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