Posted Oct 25, 2016
On Friday night we sent a TU Alert that reported a large group of youths gathered as a result of a “flash mob” near the Pearl Theater, adjacent to Temple’s Main Campus. Over the next two hours, eight people—including six Temple students and two Temple police officers—were victims of assaults, and some were punched, pushed or robbed. Some of the perpetrators were apprehended by authorities, and further investigations continue.
For anyone who might have missed the details in that alert, the message is available here.
I know that random acts like these are unsettling. Temple police officers will work diligently with police from the city of Philadelphia, SEPTA and other agencies to ensure the safety of everyone in the Temple and neighboring communities. More specifically, we are taking the following steps.
- We have increased the presence of Temple police and security officers on and around campus. We will nearly double our presence over the weekend, especially in the days around Parents and Family Weekend and Halloween.
- We are working with the city and SEPTA police forces to increase their presence.
- With the assistance of the city police, we are monitoring social media sites.
- We will work collaboratively with neighboring business establishments.
- We will work with city officials to aggressively prosecute those guilty of crimes like the ones that occurred on Friday.
- We are working with Temple Student Government to ensure that we view security through the eyes of students and the things that are important to them.
- We are also asking for input from our faculty and other employees about ways to continue to keep our campuses safe. Any member of the Temple family can send ideas and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your insights.
Friday’s incident was sparked by a social media posting. Though both the university and Philadelphia police monitor social media, I want to ask for your help. If you see anything on social media that might raise concerns, contact Temple police at 215-204-1234. And remember, if at any time you have worries about your safety, do not hesitate to call 911 or Temple police at 215-204-1234 (1-1234 from a campus phone).
We are also encouraging the campus community to heighten its awareness and to use the following campus resources.
- Walking escorts—in which security officers on bicycles accompany students who are walking—can be provided by calling 8-WALK (9255) from a campus phone or 215-777-WALK (9255) from a cell phone. Walking escorts are available from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m., seven days a week.
- Also consider using Flight, an on-demand evening shuttle service for Temple students, faculty and staff. To use Flight, download the TapRide app, select Temple University and use your AccessNet login to request a ride from your smartphone. Flight operates from 5:30 p.m. to 5:45 a.m., seven nights a week, during the academic year. For more information, visit temple.edu/flight.
- Be aware of your surroundings while walking. If possible, travel with friends and walk in well-lit, regularly traveled streets or pathways. Look around to be sure you are not being followed. If you think you are being followed, cross the street. If you are being pursued, do anything that might summon assistance.
- If at any time you have concerns about your safety, do not hesitate to call 911 or Temple police at 215-204-1234 (1-1234 from a campus phone).
Finally, I want to remind you that while last weekend’s events received tremendous media attention, Temple remains a very safe campus. Last year a published report showed that Temple is one of the safest schools in the region. I want to thank all of the members of the Temple community—our faculty, our administrators and our students. You are the ones who, day after day, do so much to contribute to our campus’ safety. I especially want to thank the outstanding members of our campus police and security officer forces. I very much appreciate their professionalism and dedication to the university community, especially throughout last Friday’s events.
If you have any additional concerns, don’t hesitate to be in touch. Your safety is our highest priority.
―Richard M. Englert