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Little Rock - Conway area Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline Counties
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:39 PM
 
13 posts, read 37,531 times
Reputation: 19

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I am considering completing a graduate program in Orientation and Mobility for the Blind at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The program is primarily online, but will require for me to take a three week course each summer on campus to learn hands on skills. I chose this program because I can spend the three week face to face component of the program living rent free while assistant teaching at the Perkins School for the Blind. I thought that it would provide a unique perspective on how kids adapt day to day with blindness and how they learn.

My question is this: I live in New York City, which at least for now, is a pretty low crime city in most parts. I didn't know much about Little Rock and assumed that it was perfectly nice and low key city. I had seen pictures of the city and university and thought it looked beautiful. I am not a big fan of New York City and had to relocate due to my spouse and his job so I thought that three weeks in a beautiful little southern city sounded pretty heavenly. Then, the other day I watched a show called Gangland USA: Little Rock. It scared the heck out of me.

Now, I'm sure that this activity is confined to certain areas of the city, but I hear that the area right next to the UALR is a bad one. I will not have access to a car if I decide to do this program and though I am somewhat street smart, I'm not always the sharpest tack in the box at noticing bad things that could affect me. For example, I would have to take the bus and I don't know if this is considered safe. Am I just getting myself all worked up over nothing? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 17,694,016 times
Reputation: 7712
Well, I believe that video was done in the mid 1990's...so it is a bit dated. And a bit exaggerated. It took the very worst of the era and made it sound like we were all being held hostage in our own homes for fear of stepping outside and getting blown away. Numbers...tv is a numbers game.

I am sure the gangs shown there still exist in areas, but not necessarily those that are close to UALR. East End, east of I30, is the major activity area. East of UALR and south of 12th Street still has its own constituency, but I wouldn't think you'd have reason to be in some of these areas anyway.

I don't know where you plan on living in Little Rock - it would help to know that to direct you on the safer areas. Little Rock has it's share of problems but I don't know they are as much gang related as just scum related. I hate saying that, but it's a midsized city with some problems with regard to crime.

As for the bus - lord. You will certainly get the scenic tour, as nothing seems to run in remotely a logical fashion in my mind. Public transportation has a LONG way to go here.

Last edited by Sam I Am; 01-12-2013 at 02:46 AM..
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
12,717 posts, read 15,714,793 times
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I know Steve and the video very well, back then it was accurate. Today there are gangs, but the rock is as safe as any big city is, probably safer. There are seedy areas, just avoid them. Going to UALR you'll be fine. VISIT first. When there you HAVE to stop at Cotham's in Scott for a hubcap burger! I think you will really like it there and probably want to make it your home. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:05 PM
 
24 posts, read 94,313 times
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The Gangland USA documentary was ridiculous. I lived in LR and taught at UALR for 9 years. I never felt unsafe. I'm from Detroit and have lived all over, including NYC, so I don't think I was naive about danger in LR. I just think of it as a relatively safe town. The bigger question for you will be the culture shock of moving from NYC to LR. I found LR a beautiful city, but a difficult one in which to be accepted if you are not from there. We finally left, and we are glad we did. We don't regret the time we spent there, and I have a lot of positive things to say about LR and Arkansas, but it tends to be a closed community that needs talented people to move and stay there, yet doesn't want to include them, hire them, or promote them when they do. There is a lot of cronism and good ol' boy mentality still there.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Vernon, CT
3 posts, read 8,160 times
Reputation: 15
I'm originally from New England, and I moved down to Arkansas for about three years, living in both Searcy and Hot Springs, but I spent a great deal of time in Little Rock on the weekends for work and at nights for entertainment. Here's my take: Gangs in Little Rock are absolutely awful. However, the overall crime element in Little Rock isn't as bad as cities of the same size up in New England. It is safer than Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Springfield, Worcester, etc. However, the violence in Little Rock is much more gang-driven than in New England. UALR is in a particularly gang-infested part of town, and I would never want my wife going traipsing about by foot, at night or during the day. While many Little Rock people say the violence is over-exaggerated, that just isn't the case. Parts of Little Rock are truly nasty, including by UALR, and it is spreading into other areas, such as North Little Rock where we're starting to see shootings in places like McCain Mall, mostly gang-related. On the other hand, there are some very nice parts of Little Rock that you can feel safe taking a nighttime stroll about, but unfortunately for you, UALR isn't in one of those areas. But, if you're only there for three weeks at a time and you're getting free housing, why not just stay inside and use a taxi for transportation when necessary? If you eventually settle in the area, there are a number of great little communities in which to live free from fear of crime, however. I personally loved Searcy, about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock, though it is a little bit off the beaten path. Closer is Maumelle (much more expensive), Conway (about a 30 minute drive), and Cabot.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,286 posts, read 41,074,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofarkansas View Post
The Gangland USA documentary was ridiculous. I lived in LR and taught at UALR for 9 years. I never felt unsafe. I'm from Detroit and have lived all over, including NYC, so I don't think I was naive about danger in LR. I just think of it as a relatively safe town. The bigger question for you will be the culture shock of moving from NYC to LR. I found LR a beautiful city, but a difficult one in which to be accepted if you are not from there. We finally left, and we are glad we did. We don't regret the time we spent there, and I have a lot of positive things to say about LR and Arkansas, but it tends to be a closed community that needs talented people to move and stay there, yet doesn't want to include them, hire them, or promote them when they do. There is a lot of cronism and good ol' boy mentality still there.
That was something I was concerned about.

Little Rock seems very interesting to me, but with a Michigan Northern Yankee accent, it seems that if I was up for another with a southern accent, most people would probably prefer to work with and hire the one with the southern accent. I could be wrong though.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:34 AM
 
491 posts, read 740,137 times
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I have seen other posts about out-of-staters being getting the shaft in favor of locals or just not being accepted. I recent example in the news this week could be the hiring of a new athletic director at UALR. There were 3 finalists for the job. The two from out of state appeared, on the surface, to have more experience in that line of and to be better candidates for the position but the hometown candidate got the job. That could be localism or it could be more to it than appears on the surface.

I do see quite a few transplants and they seem to be doing okay to me and there are a lot of people from out of state in high profile and executive jobs in Little Rock.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:04 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,221 posts, read 1,731,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdb05f View Post
I have seen other posts about out-of-staters being getting the shaft in favor of locals or just not being accepted. I recent example in the news this week could be the hiring of a new athletic director at UALR. There were 3 finalists for the job. The two from out of state appeared, on the surface, to have more experience in that line of and to be better candidates for the position but the hometown candidate got the job. That could be localism or it could be more to it than appears on the surface.

I do see quite a few transplants and they seem to be doing okay to me and there are a lot of people from out of state in high profile and executive jobs in Little Rock.
Coaches - You gotta keep in mind that this is athletics and has nothing to do with the "real world" The original Post asked about safety at UALR and although the Post is a year old I'll Post a Reply, which is; Our granddaughter just graduated from there after three semesters on campus and had no problems, day or night.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:25 PM
 
10 posts, read 19,400 times
Reputation: 21
Hi! I studied at UALR within the last 4 years--and I even lived in a rent house RIGHT beside the school off Fair Park Blvd. Is UALR safe? YES! They have monitored parking lots, LOTS of emergency phones throughout the parking lots, lots of light, and campus police who regularly patrol the campus.

However, is the area AROUND UALR safe? That depends on what you're use to. During the 6 months that I lived beside campus, my car was broken in to twice--once they busted a window AND my back door got kicked in and someone stole my laptop computer.

I'm sure whoever did this saw two college girls living there so they figured that they could get away with it, so the situation may be different for you!

I cancelled my lease early after my door got kicked in. Though, I had lots of friends who stayed ON campus and didn't have a single problem---so you're definitely safe within the school.

With that being said, Little Rock is a pretty small city and EVERYTHING is reached by a car basically which is the opposite of NYC. I lived in West Little Rock after I moved and would get to campus within 20 minutes, so don't feel like you NEED to stay in that area because its close--because just about everywhere in the city is within 20-25 minutes of UALR.

Hope this helps you! Message me if you have any questions or need some guidance on where to stay!
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:54 AM
 
Location: MS
4,396 posts, read 4,678,783 times
Reputation: 1557
My wife got her graduate degree from UALR back in the 90's about the time they were filming the documentary. She followed the most important rule during night class - never walk alone to your car. On the odd occasion when she would happen to walk alone between buildings, she would shortcut through areas like the athletics department. One day she even got a smile from Wimp Sanderson (former men's basketball coach and Alabama coaching legend). If you know the name you know his reputation for being angry and aggressive during games.
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