Editorial: Temple University needs to act now and keep students safe

Temple students and North Philly residents march for campus safety on February 28, 2023.

“It’s not normal to hear gunshots on a college campus… Here, it’s just another day at Temple.”

Greg Masters, a second-year Temple University student, expressed his frustrations with Metro during a protest held at Temple’s North Philadelphia campus last week.

And he’s not alone.

Dozens of students demonstrated in response to safety concerns, criticizing the university’s lack of action amid a rash of violent crime near campus.

Just this weekend, on Saturday, Temple University Police Association posted a safety advisory alerting students that a male victim was stabbed at Broad Street and Susquehanna Avenue. Hours later, another alert: a gunpoint carjacking.

Less than three weeks ago, a carjacking led to the fatal shooting of Temple Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald, who was killed Feb. 18 near the campus.

Perhaps even more frustrating than the senseless violence that is plaguing North Philadelphia is Temple University’s lack of leadership and their refusal to act to keep students safe.

One of the biggest criticisms from students is the lack of timely updates from TU Alert, Temple’s emergency notification system. In response, students created Keep Us Safe TU, which regularly updates students on reported crimes in the area.

The student-led movement has garnered close to 9,500 followers and shares official crime reports as well as first-hand student accounts of everything from threats to vehicles stolen from Liacouras Garage.

How are students expected to learn and focus, when they are busy policing campus? Why has it become the responsibility of Temple students to share crime updates? It is an atrocity that the university is putting that burden on students.

Temple students are certainly doing their part to invoke change in the community, fighting for safer streets and a safeguarded campus. But where is the university’s leadership? If you would like to voice your concern, Metro has listed contact information below:

• President Dr. Jason Wingard: 215-204-7405, president@temple.edu

• Vice President of Public Safety Jennifer Griffin: jgriffin@temple.edu

• Temple University Board of Trustees: 215-204-7308, trustees@temple.edu

The circumstances that students, teachers and staff at Temple University are forced to face daily is incredibly unfair. Downright cruel. Temple University needs to stand up and make its campus a safe haven for students.