Article by Grace Frank
As I approached the college place bus stop, the schoolwide alarm was set off. Naturally, I ignored it for the first couple rings because unusual noises on college campuses are expected and frequent. “It’s probably a mistake,” my friend pointed out. This assumption made sense because for my first year here, I had not run into any dangerous activity on or around campus. But when I got a text from an unknown number the same time as everyone else on the south bus did, I knew something must be off. “Shelter in place, stay indoors.” What the fuck. What the FUUUCK! All the articles and news stories about campus shootings flooded my thoughts. This could not be happening. No, no.
As time went on, rumors piled up. Drug deal gone wrong? Gang wars? Car chases in the Oakwood Cemetery? However, each story got the same reaction as the next: panic. Complete franticness. My phone blew up with “stay safe” texts and outlandish stories of students running for their lives.
Though I realize the proximity of the crime is the reason the university took action and students went into freak-out mode, in the back of my mind I kept thinking; this is not fair. Far too often, the student body forgets that Syracuse University is PART of the larger City of Syracuse. Not the other way around. The university is in the center of a city where, this past year alone, a person has been shot by another person once every four days. This past Fourth of July, 10 people were shot in Syracuse within a 24 hour period.
The City of Syracuse is the host of our institution yet crimes committed further than a two mile radius of the campus mean nothing to us. Is this fair? Is it fair that we, as a University, put ourselves over the greater community that we claim as our home? Our three hour campus trauma is an every-day occurrence for the majority of the city.
Use this as a wake up call to get more involved in the lives of community members that host us. We can not put ourselves on a higher pedestal. Their trauma is our trauma, and ours is theirs. We have the power to help Syracuse become a better, safer city.