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Old 11-15-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Worcester
13 posts, read 75,576 times
Reputation: 18
Default Neighborhood Around Temple University

Hi, my name is Dan, I am planning a visit to Temple University this Thursday. Lately everyone is asking me what colleges I am looking at, and I list them, and then I say and I am going to check out Temple in Philadelphia, and everyone goes, "Ohh, thats in a bad, high crime area." I want to know is the area really that bad, someone told me it is patrolled by armed guards at night, while I have no supporting evidence for this, I want to know the truth, especially because my mom is a nervous wreck that I would even consider a city like Philadelphia to spend four plus years of my life. To understand where I am coming from you need to know that I am from Worcester, Massachusetts, outside Boston, and well, Boston in my mother's eyes is this luxurious wealthy area, where the schools that I am looking at there are in better neighborhoods, while to her Philadelphia is the worst place ever. I think otherwise, while crime seems to be higher in Philly than Boston, I think Philadelphia is cool and I like some of the grit that I can't see in Boston, I think Boston may be too clean for me, especially because I am planning to study Architecture and see Philadelphia as a cool place to learn about architecture, so, can anyone give me the truth on the Temple University area?

Also I want to go to downtown, and seeing as we will be paying for parking in a garage for the day near Temple, would it be safe to ride the subway into downtown? I am open minded about subways, I am a frequenter of the NYC, Boston, and DC subways, so I have seen alot, is the Broad Street Line as safe as the subways in those cities?

Last edited by skyscraperboy93; 11-15-2010 at 05:07 PM.. Reason: Added Inquiry
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: The City
19,034 posts, read 15,782,616 times
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Temple is in North Philly, actually not to far from Center City but honestly the neighborhood that sorrounds Temple is not great to say the least. Temple has done a much better job of policing the area and buying up all places it can in the perimter but it is definately an urban setting nd close to some of the worst ghettos in the country. Philly on the whole is similar to Boston in many ways with worse neighborhoods and a bigger city. I think mostly Temple is safe but caution in the urban is required as well as where you might choose to live. There ae definately areas pretty close to the campus that have pretty high levels of crime. So i think it is fair balance to say Temple can be safe with some smart city choices so to speak - I did just read that the campus recieved a huge sum of money for expansion and Center City is slowly gentrifying out that direction

In terms of architecture philly some great architecture and remember that NYC/Baltimore/DC for additional architecture vantage points are all about two hours or so away

On the subway, absolutely and it is only a few stops to the central part of the city
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:21 PM
 
561 posts, read 655,432 times
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I'm a professor at Temple. There has been crime on or around the campus, but not enough to warrant the gloom and doom reputation that surrounds the school. I think the negativity leveled at the University is unfair and usually comes from uninformed sources, or folks familiar with the school decades ago. To give some context, I'm a female, about 125lbs and I have a night class that I offer. I walk to my car alone at night - and have never had an issue. I never feel unsafe during the day. At night, I'm more mindful of my surroundings, but even then there are tons of students around. The campus itself tends to be pretty insulated.

That said, the surrounding neighborhood has had its issues over the years. As kidphilly mentioned, the University has taken efforts to buy up property, is expanding etc, but there is crime in there area. Statistically, the chances something will actually happen to you is low. However, you have to be careful when leaving campus - and especially when walking around at night. Many of the students live in off-campus house, which isn't patrolled by our security. This is often where our students will be victims of criminal acts.

Temple does have a security force and I usually do see police cars on Broad Street at night. I have not seen armed guards patrolling the campus at night.

I have seen 8 year olds on the broad street subway line. So, I would think you'll be just fine.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Worcester
13 posts, read 75,576 times
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Thank both of you, I am very excited to come down and see Temple, while my parents may not be so excited, I love the prospect of going somewhere new and the possibility of ending up somewhere that isn't Boston. I am so glad that it isn't the complete horror show that some people make that area sound like. I am very excited to see the school. If anyone has anything else to say I would love to hear it, thanks to the two people that have posted so far.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:54 PM
 
308 posts, read 520,867 times
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I disagree somewhat. I think you should consider Temple and that its campus is pretty safe, but I think Temple's reputation is deserved. Yes, there are improvements and that is great, but given that I know many former Temple students who are not older than 33, who were robbed on campus, its going to take time to move away from the idea that the campus is a bit dangerous.

People talk about Temple now buying up properties around campus, but the improvements started much earlier than that. Those same people who were robbed on campus would tell you to go there because changes began to happen then and problems happened far less often once Temple began to be more pro-active. Temple made the right decision to light up the campus like its daytime at night and that improved things drastically. Before that, you would go to an ATM and it would be somewhat dark nearby and that can and did cause problems, not the case anymore. Then they improved their security further and they have since moved to start with buying properties nearby to try to elevate the immediate area surrounding campus. In my opinion, security still needs to be improved. I have a cousin attending now and I'm not as aware of their presence as say I am when at Penn for instance and I haven't seen armed guards. But security is there and campus is much improved and feels mostly safe.

In case you are unaware, one reason why you can't just say about Temple - on campus is fine, who cares about off campus is that, you only get on campus housing for the first two years, so you'll be in off campus housing at a certain point, its not an option to live on campus all 4 (or 5) years. You don't have to live in the immediate surrounding neighborhood if you don't choose to but it is the most affordable and that is the main reason Temple needs to continue to work to improve this area.

Now, that said, in the same way I know people who have been robbed at Temple, I can tell you people who have been robbed who were students at BU and Northeastern in the last 10 years as well. I can guarantee you, there's been students robbed in the last year there as well. No city is perfect. Boston isn't just safety and sunshine. Boston is also smaller than Philly and while change has happened in both cities to improve their more depressed areas, Boston has less of those areas mostly because of size. Anyone who thinks the universities in Boston won't contend with the problems of a city/urban university isn't paying close attention, stuff happens there as well.

But all in all, you can be as safe on Temple's campus as you can be on a campus at a university in Boston. Off campus is a bit more problematic, but if you use some street smarts and keep it relatively close to Temple, you'll be fine.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:22 AM
 
561 posts, read 655,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasmineFlower View Post
I disagree somewhat. I think you should consider Temple and that its campus is pretty safe, but I think Temple's reputation is deserved.
I completely agree caution is warranted around TU - especially off-campus, where many students live and the Police presence is low. But in terms of reputation, when many folks hear the name Temple U they immediately start spouting off nonsensical info about how you will definitely get robbed, mugged, raped, or how terrible the murder rate is. One would think it was an all out war zone if you listen to some of these folks.

I attended TU in the late 90's and I always left before it was dark outside. It was largely a commuter campus and the school didn't take steps to really secure the campus or its students at night. When I came back a few years ago, I was pretty amazed at the transformation. That said, I exercise caution at night, I stay within the confines of the campus, and I urge my students to be careful when going off campus (again where most of the crime will occur). The security presence should be better and should extend into off-campus housing. But I've had probably 500 students over the last two years and have had only two who have had issues (both off campus, albeit near campus).

My suggestion to the OP - visit Temple. The school really does have a lot to offer and the Honors program (should you qualify, is amazing). If you decide to come, make sure you live in on-campus housing for at least the first two years. The campus is building up new housing to try to accommodate students past the their Sophomore year. Should you have to move off campus after Sophomore year, rather than moving to surrounding N. Phila (which is where many of my students live - and a few have had issues - e.g., break ins) - consider an area like Manayunk and take the train into school.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:30 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,339 posts, read 2,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by templeu View Post
My suggestion to the OP - visit Temple. The school really does have a lot to offer and the Honors program (should you qualify, is amazing). If you decide to come, make sure you live in on-campus housing for at least the first two years. The campus is building up new housing to try to accommodate students past the their Sophomore year. Should you have to move off campus after Sophomore year, rather than moving to surrounding N. Phila (which is where many of my students live - and a few have had issues - e.g., break ins) - consider an area like Manayunk and take the train into school.
I'd like to chime in with everyone else...Temple has undergone LOTS of changes over the years (for the better!), and progressed from a commuter school to a more selective university that draws students from all over.

My son's first apartment was in the Passyunk Square area of South Philadelphia (Broad to 6th St., Washington Ave. to Tasker St.). There were lots of Temple students there, and even though it's not in the immediate area, it's a pretty safe neighborhood and you can easily get to Temple via the Broad St. Subway.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:24 AM
 
864 posts, read 1,436,957 times
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I agree with most of what was said here. IMO if you look like a target, you will be a target. No need to walk around acting scared just be smart and you should be fine.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Worcester
13 posts, read 75,576 times
Reputation: 18
I would like to thank everyone for their input, I have managed to calm my mother down some, and she is more accepting of my plans to visit and most likely apply. I plan on seeing campus then exploring around the neighborhood with my father just to see what is going on during a typical school day. I am truly excited to see the school. I think it will be a refreshing change from Boston schools, and I am open minded about cities, and think that it will be just fine. I am a believer that common sense is needed and that if you stick out you will be a target, and all city rule apply here, also that caution should be used everywhere, so I will be cautious, and I will try to ask some current students (non tour guides) their thoughts on the safety. Ultimately there is no way to make a decision or statement on the area without seeing it myself, and I would never say anything about an area without seeing it first.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:00 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 1,241,770 times
Reputation: 668
Whenever there was a murder (like every day) in Philadelphia, my parents would sit me down and try and get me to reconsider moving, especially since I was going to be living in the "ghetto" aka Temple University. Three years later and all our perceptions have changed. After my first year I got over the "Temple bubble" mentality of believing anything off campus between Temple and City Hall was unsafe. My parents have also seen how great the campus is, and they feel at ease knowing that. The campus is really great, I've never felt uncomfortable there. Off campus is another situation, but you'll never had a need to go off campus unless you decide to live there. Living around Temple can be a bit iffy. Generally, if you go into that situation with the attitude that "I live here, I'm going to walk down the street like I have a reason to be here and I'm not going to be nervous about it." you'll generally be ok. Don't make yourself a target, most issues are usually break-ins when students aren't home. However, if you do go to Temple and need off-campus living arrangements as an upperclassmen, I strongly strongly strongly recommend looking into other neighborhoods in the city. Philadelphia is blessed as one of the few cities left in the USA where you don't need a car to live. You can basically take your pick of city neighborhoods thats suit you and find a transit option to take to campus. A lot of Temple students live in South Philly and take the subway to campus, or they live in Fishtown and take the #3 bus. Somebody already mentioned Manayunk. You can use Regional Rail to get to campus, and a monthly transpass covers this since all the stops are still within the city. Or, you can bike, which is what I've done for two years. It's great exercise and free.

In any event, you shouldn't be worried. On-campus is generally great and safe, and when time comes that you want to find a place off-campus there's plenty of options throughout the city, so don't limit yourself to what you see immediately around campus.
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