By Hailey Briggs
Alanna Nickles, first-year student at Emerson College, was in the 2 Boylston Place Alley late at night when an older intoxicated man cornered her and expressed his intent of having sexual relations with her. “It was incredibly frightening and I felt powerless,” said Nickles.
Safety on campus continues to be an issue. Following the incident, Emerson College’s Police Department sent out an email last week informing the Emerson Community of several occurrences in which Emerson students were approached by non-Emerson Community members in an aggressive manner. According to Emerson College’s Annual Clery Compliance Report, there were three rapes, two incidents of fondling, and four burglaries in 2016.
In the campus advisory, Police Chief Robert Smith said that ECPD is trying to identify the individuals involved. He also said that patrol officers will make an effort to be more visible on on Boylston Street.
According to Deputy Chief Eric Schiazza, ECPD has over 140 cameras that will continue to monitor the outside and inside of the buildings on campus.
Several Emerson College students have had negative experiences while traveling around campus.
“My friend had a homeless man follow her all the way home from CVS to her dorm. He stood outside the dorm after she went inside,” said first-year student Aster Cheng.
Cheng also had an incident at CVS. A woman opened the door for her and asked her for money. When Cheng said she did not have cash, the woman followed her into the store.
Cheng recognizes the implications living on a city campus. “We don’t really have control of who gets to step onto our campus since our campus, like the 2B alley, is a public place.”
She also believes safety is common sense. “Don’t walk into the Common at night,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to go into a building if you feel unsafe. Just ask for help!”
Nickles feels more safe on campus than she does in the surrounding city. “I definitely think that they can do a better job of patrolling. There are a lot of people that come into the alley late at night through City Place. I think if City Place was shut down at a certain time, then the Alley would be a lot safer.”
Schiazza asks that students report any suspicious or criminal activity. “Remember the ECPD is here to help the Emerson community be safe,” said Schiazza.