Every year, students will inevitably hear about a few robberies and assaults that plague the area around the Rensselaer campus; however, this year has brought about significantly more incidents that involve RPI students. The street leading from the Union to BARH—Sherry Road—alone has seen at least two robberies since the beginning of classes.
These incidents also defy what we normally think of in terms of robberies and confrontations. Students usually think that robberies and assaults are solely limited to the evening hours, but someone was robbed in broad daylight at 10:30 am on a Sunday while walking to the Union. Downtown, there was another robbery in which the victim saw someone who was faking illness and stopped to help; he was rewarded with the “sick” person pulling a gun on him and demanding his wallet. Though this wasn’t a student, it very well could have been. There have been several more crime alerts posted about students who have been robbed, and the truly worrisome part is that many involved the threat of some sort of weapon. There have even been a few break-ins at nearby apartments, and last week there was a young male who broke the window of a student’s car to steal his GPS.
Students should exercise every precaution to keep safe in light of these incidents. When walking around campus, try not to walk alone—even if it’s the mid-morning hours of a weekend. Walk in groups when possible. Female students are especially at risk. If you are caught late at the library or the Union without a buddy, call Public Safety; they will be more than happy to give you an escort back to your dorm or apartment, especially given the recent string of crime. Just call (518) 276-6656. Know the locations of blue light phones (if you are standing anywhere on campus, at least one should be in your line of vision). These will directly connect you to Public Safety.
Although you might feel silly taking these steps to protect yourself, we guarantee it’s better than being the victim of another robbery.