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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A sense of fear led students at La Salle University to demand action on Monday. They want better security because of increasing crime near campus.
Three hundred students attended a meeting held by university officials.
La Salle University has multiple public safety officers patrolling on foot and in their security cars.
About two weeks ago, they started wearing bright yellow reflective jackets to be more visible to students.
There is also a Philadelphia police officer on campus patrolling from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m., but students say with the amount of crime that has been reported, more needs to be done.
“I don’t feel safe at all,” said sophomore Jacque McDonnell.
When asked if La Salle University students felt safe walking around campus, the students CBS3 spoke with answered with a resounding no.
“It is scary and I want to be safe here walking to class during the day,” said junior Vanessa Soto.
Since the beginning of the year, La Salle has had seven incidents near the campus –four of which were robberies or attempted robberies.
In response to the crime, 2,000 students signed a petition in hopes something could be done to help students feel safer.
University officials held a public safety town hall to address concerns.
“I don’t think really much got accomplished,” said Soto. “I feel like it was just going back and forth. Everyone was asking the same questions and they weren’t giving us a response back.”
Students also said there seems to be a lack of transparency.
“We are very transparent,” said Dr. Dawn Soufleris.
The vice president of Student Affairs disagrees with some students’ perception.
In a letter sent to students, La Salle states that, “No incidents have happened on campus.”
Students showed us campus wide alerts that seemed to contradict that statement.
“For the LA apartment one, it happened outside of the La Salle Apartments at the gate,” said Dr. Soufleris. It did not happen inside of the apartment area. It happened outside.”
So because the incident happened on the sidewalk, it was outside of the university’s jurisdiction.
La Salle said it’s continuing to improve security, but students aren’t too convinced.
“La Salle security doesn’t do anything and hasn’t been doing anything. I’ve been here for two years now and they haven’t been doing anything,” said McDonnell.
The school says they’re still answering questions and will have a full response in the school’s newspaper.