Maureen S. Rush, Penn's Vice President for Public Safety, on the subject of safety: "Penn is an urban college campus, well-integrated into a vibrant University City community, which offers
students, faculty and staff access to a wonderfully diverse cultural, arts and restaurant scene. The Division of Public Safety offers comprehensive safety and security services to all valued members of our Penn community and works vigilantly with our municipal, state and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that our students have all the resources they need both to prevent crime and to deal with its repercussions, should they experience any type of crime."
One of the questions most frequently asked by graduate students unfamiliar with Philadelphia is, "Where is it safe to life?" or "Which neighborhoods are the safest?" The Division of Public Safety at Penn could answer more specific questions about crime rates and incidents at different locations, but keep in mind that crime patterns are often unpredictable. Penn is an urban university and Philadelphia, like other major cities across the nation, is not a crime-free environment.
Consider also that "safe" can mean different things to different people. People have different ideas about security and safety depending on their backgrounds and experiences. Some students are well-used to a bustling, crowded urban environment, while for others this urban environment is completely new. Ultimately, deciding whether you feel safe living in a particular building or on a particular block is an individual consideration, after a careful assessment of the place.
Remember that safety is always a shared responsibility. The Penn Police have jurisdiction up to 43rd street west of campus, and Philadelphia police patrol other areas. University City District Safety Ambassadors patrol the neighborhoods on foot and by bicycle. Penn provides shuttles in the evening that transport students to their doors in University City, Powelton Village and western Center City. Calling 898-RIDE or 898-WALK from the Penn campus will access the shuttle or walking escort services, respectively.
Students must share the responsibility for their own safety by taking reasonable precautions while traveling and by ensuring that they immediately report any compromise of security in their building to the landlord. For a list of specific considerations while searching for housing, see the Safety Score Checklist (pdf)
on the OCS website.
More information is available from Penn's Division of Public Safety at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu