S.U. Students React to Increase in Burglaries on Campus Concern among S.U. Students Regarding the Increase in Burglaries on Campus

Noah Weiss: Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety Annual Report on Campus Security for 2021 shows that there were 116 burglaries on-campus and in the close surrounding area in 2020—a rise from 7 the previous year. This rise in property-related crime on-campus has students like Meraid concerned about their safety.

Meraid: “My friend who lives on Madison Street, her house got broken into while they were sleeping, and this guy came into her room, and she woke up and saw him and screamed and he grabbed her keys, and left, and stole her car. I’m living on Madison Street next year and I’m kind of concerned about that.”

Noah Weiss: Other students, like Liam, are not concerned about the safety of their property on-campus.

Liam:“If you lock the door and lock your windows you should be fine, right?”

Noah Weiss: I spoke with a Department of Public Safety officer who told me that she believes the reason as to why the number of burglaries was so high in 2020 was due to less of a security presence due to COVID-19. I’m Noah Weiss for N-C-C News.

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Central New York Crime Analysis Center released their end-of-year crime statistics for Syracuse this past January. The statistics show that violent crime increased by 2% in 2021, but overall, crime was down 9%, driven by a 13% decline in property crime. However, while property crime is decreasing in Syracuse, there appears to be a rise in property crimes on Syracuse University campus, with the 2021 Department of Public Safety Compressive Annual Report on Campus Security from Syracuse University showing that there were 116 burglaries on-campus in 2020—a rise from 7 the previous year.

With a rise in property crime this steep, one must consider the group of people this staggering statistic affects: the students. Meraid and Quinn are two sophomore students who are both very concerned about the rash of burglaries on-campus. Meraid is planning to live on Madison Street next semester, and says that she has a friend who currently lives on Madison Street whose home recently got broken into:

“My friend who lives on Madison Street got broken into while she was sleeping. And this guy, like, came into her room while she was sleeping, and then she woke up and saw him and screamed. He grabbed her keys and left and stole her car. So, I’m living on Madison Street next year and I’m like, kind of worried about that, you know? So like, you know, I don’t know, are the locks are good, or, like, what’s going on there?”

Quinn says that her safety concerns stretch past burglary. While Quinn lives on North Campus now and feels safe, she spent her freshman year in Brewster, Brockway and Boland (“BBB”) dormitory complex, and was frequently notified of crime right outside her dorm:

“We (Meraid and Quinn) lived in BBB last year. And like, we would always get emails like someone was just stabbed. Like, you know, that type of thing. Someone was robbed like at gunpoint right outside of our door, I think… It’s terrifying…Like we would walk around with our pepper spray, like ready to go. Yeah, we live on the other side of campus now, so it’s a little bit better, but like, not really.”

Not all students have concerns about safety and property-related crimes on-campus. Liam, a sophomore who lives in Kimmel Hall, believes that it is on the individual to make sure that their places of residences are secure, and believes that the University is limited in what they can do:

“Well, my opinion is that it’s sort of on us rather than the University. I mean, if you locked the door…and lock your windows, you should be fine. Right?”

Liam also speculated as to the reason why burglaries on Syracuse University campus have been increasing:
“People…[may] just [be] super lackadaisical…but the first thing I’d point to [would be] people…being bought into a false sense of security now that COVID protocols are starting to decline.”

A Residential Department of Public Safety officer (who wished to remain anonymous), like Liam, also believes that the rise in on-campus burglaries may be due to COVID-19:

“It (reason for increase in burglaries) could have been a couple of different things. I mean…seriously…it could have been due to COVID. You know…not having as many people on campus…it could be many things, but I think just a campus setting…there could be increased crime due to the age group and just the population of people on campus…”

To the extent that the recent increase in property-related crime on campus is related to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on marginalized groups who faced increased unemployment, the end of the pandemic, should create an environment where burglaries are less frequent—something which should be welcome news to all students.

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