Housing safety concerns raised
When Stephanie Berrospe, sophomore criminal justice major moved into her new on-campus apartment at University Park North, she was met with an unexpected sight.
Instead of welcome banners and resident advisors walking around speaking with parents and residents, Berrospe found herself in front of a cracked building with broken windows boarded up with cardboard and a car with a shattered window parked on her street.
“My mom was really upset. She was like, ‘I don’t know why the school is doing this to you guys,”’ Berrospe said. “‘You guys are paying so much, we are paying so much for you guys to be here and for them to have this place kept like this it’s disgusting. It’s sad that it’s even like this.’”
Later that day, a unit in UPN, not yet occupied by students, was broken into by two individuals. University Police responded to the call and soon the apartment was flooded with officers and search dogs, according to the UPD crime log.
University spokesperson Jonathan Morales said UPD has seen an increase in crime leading up to the school year. However it is also not uncommon to see a spike in criminal activity right before school starts. During summer there are less residents and therefore less people to keep a look out for. He said UPD has responded by increasing patrol in the affected areas.
“The University is committed to fostering a safe and positive community for all of our residents,” Morales said.
“The property management and physical planning offices work with UPD to address any safety issues quickly and we encourage residents to report any maintenance issues to University Property Management so they can be addressed as soon as possible,” Morales said.
Shiba Bandeeba, a junior liberal studies major and member of Students for Quality Education, is hoping to tackle the housing issues as her next project for the organization.
“It affects her studies, not just her personal health care. You want to feel safe when you go home,” Bandeeba said about how living conditions can affect residents such as Berrospe. “You want to feel that the bed you sleep on there isn’t going to have any mold or asbestos that you’re breathing that is going to affect your health. Or where you’re cooking food there are no roaches or mice.”