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Off-campus crime

Andrew Seter | Monday, April 18, 2011

To students considering off-campus housing,

Living off campus is an exciting evolution in the lives of many Notre Dame students. The idea of living without parietals, meal plans and substandard housing (cough cough Morrissey Manor) is tantalizing for many upperclassmen. As an off-campus junior I can absolutely and strongly attest to the benefits of “living off.” However, as a resident of Clover Ridge I vehemently advise students interested in moving to an apartment to look elsewhere. On Thursday, April 14, my two roommates left to participate in the Thursday ritual of college night at Club Fever. A few minutes later I heard somebody at the door. I rationally assumed that the person was one of my roommates returning for a set of forgotten keys. Upon opening the door, I witnessed a young male tearing the screen off our window and breaking into our apartment. It can not be understated how lucky it was that someone was at our apartment and that the intruder decided to leave immediately.

In retrospect, this event was a microcosm of the animosity that exists between the South Bend community and the Notre Dame off-campus community. One of our neighbors has been the victim of breaking and entering crimes resulting in theft twice. Tales of students being jumped, girls being shot and the “trunkings” at Notre Dame Apartments remain fresh in every sophomore-through-senior’s mind. It’s an embarrassment to Clover Ridge that the complex is clearly an unsupervised and targeted area, and it’s an embarrassment to our law enforcement that the “major bust” of 2011 is a football player’s DUI. How many students have been ticketed by excise or NDSP this year? Is there better advice that visiting officers can give than “put a broomstick in your windows?” South Bend law enforcement can pat themselves on the back all they want for ticketing college students in order to prevent alcohol and drug “abuse,” but too often more serious crimes have remained unpunished and underreported. Off-campus living shouldn’t be a safety gamble for students, and South Bend police should redirect their efforts from persecuting students towards protecting them.

Andrew Seter

junior

off campus

April 15