PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Safety continues to be a big concern for students at Temple University and their parents, especially after a number of break-ins and other violence at off-campus housing.
To help calm safety concerns, Temple has increased security measures, hired a Vice President of Public Safety and put an emphasis on immediate notifications alerting of crime.
Still, some students say news of the home invasion that resulted in 11 off-campus students being robbed and locked in a basement is terrifying and a disruption to their learning.
"I feel like I get an alert from a shooting like every single day, just a few blocks away," said Temple Freshman, Megan Whalen. "It seems like it's only getting worse. These really big crimes you wouldn't expect to happen."
This has been an issue going on for years. Parents say more should be done.
"As a parent of a student at Temple University, it's sad to say but you almost expect something bad to happen. Something very negative to happen to your student down here. I have," said parent of Temple Student, Scott. "I'm also a graduate of Temple University, I knew firsthand what the implications were going to this university."
For students living off campus, the University is reminding and recommending utilizing their recently launched 'Best Nest Program.'
The program helps students and their families find off-campus housing that meets certain safety and security criteria, which includes being located within Temple University Police Department's patrol zone.
Landlords located inside the patrol zones can also apply for Temple's Security Upgrade Grant of up to $2,500 which can be used for installing either lighting and/or cameras to improve security.
The university also recommends off-campus and student renters take these protective measures:
- Alerting your landlord to repair any broken doors, windows or locks.
- Keeping windows and doors secured with adequate locks at all times.
- Asking your landlord to change or re-key the locks to your unit before you move in. You never know who may still have a key.
- Securing sliding glass doors with a safety bar placed in the door track to prevent the door from being forced open.
- Never hide an extra house key under a mat, in a flowerpot, or any other easily accessible place.
- If you live in an apartment building, do not enter or leave the building if you notice strangers loitering in the entranceway. Don't hold the door open or allow others to follow you inside unless they live in the building or have permission to enter from a tenant.
- Don't share your plans for parties publicly on social media and only invite people you know into the property.
"As of lately it's been getting really chaotic. More stuff really close to campus, which is, you can't ignore it," said Temple sophomore, Marcelo Jones. "But, you know, I mean you're coming to North Philly. It's a great school but like, you need to really know what you're doing."