Kylie McGovern, Editor
Header Image: Contech
On Tuesday, April 26 there was a community meeting with public safety and Residence Life in Founders’ Hall for La Salle Apartments and St. Teresa Court Apartments residents. Over the weekend, an apartment was burglarized in La Salle Apartments, an on-campus residence hall for sophomores, juniors and seniors located on Olney and Chew Avenues. This meeting was led by Vice President of Student Development & Campus Life Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Public Safety Dr. Amanda Guthorn, and Director of Residence Life TiRease Holmes. 10 students total attended this evening from both residential areas.
Students voiced their concerns to Léger, Guthorn and Holmes about how safety in their apartments could be improved after the break-in this weekend. Public safety has video footage of the burglars boosting one another over the fence. Although the traditional residence halls in North Residence Halls and the St. Miguel townhouses have security guards, La Salle Apartments and St. Teresa Court Apartments do not. These buildings were not built in particular for university housing. La Salle acquired these properties, rather than originally building them like the other on-campus housing. Therefore, there is no security desk installed. Students at the meeting voiced that implementing a security desk and security officer in La Salle Apartments and St. Teresa Court Apartments would make them feel safer. La Salle Apartments and St. Teresa Court Apartments were designed for students to have more “independent living,” but the students impacted by the lack of security have wondered about the cost of their independent living. Students at the meeting also suggested improved lighting in their apartment areas since the buildings are somewhat separated from the rest of campus. Léger and Guthorn took this suggestion to heart and walked with students to see the areas that could be lit more properly.
In addition to increased patrol and security at La Salle Apartments and St. Teresa Court Apartments, students living in those areas have expressed frustration in submitting maintenance requests that go unanswered. For example, students had explained that they had been frustrated after submitting multiple maintenance requests for both safety matters – like locks – to cosmetic issues, to heating issues during winter. Although safety is the main concern of both students and Léger, Guthorn and Holmes, students should also feel comfortable in their environments.
At the end of the day, students at La Salle need to feel safe and heard. Students living on campus end up paying upwards of $10,000 a year for “room and board” at La Salle University, in addition to tuition and other fees. Dialogues like this one at the community meeting with residence life, public safety and students may bring about change.