“It doesn’t surprise me because I do hear about it happening frequently,” says Loyola Junior Rebecca Walker.
“It’s not so much that it scared me as that it made me alert,” says Tulane Law Student Saisha Chandrasekaran.
Monday was the first day of classes at Tulane and Loyola Universities Uptown. Only two days later Tulane Campus Police are alerting students.
Authorities say just after 1am Wednesday a 20-year-old Tulane Junior was robbed on her way home. The NOPD says she was shoved to the ground by a man that implied he was armed and was wearing a white ski mask. It happened near the picturesque corner of Freret and State Streets.
Jon Barnwell, Superintendent of Police at Tulane University says, “When the student population is not here there’s less activity, and therefore there’s less of a draw for even criminal element, but once the activity starts generating again then the chance for people to come and intermingle with our students is there and unfortunately crime does spill into that arena.”
Barnwell says students were warned of the dangers of city living during orientation. He says while they can’t prevent every crime there are tools they hope students use.
“If the alarm expires before you deactivate it your information will be sent to university police,” alerts the Rave Guardian on Barnwell’s cell phone.
The Rave Guardian phone feature is free for Tulane students and basically tracks you. The device alerts campus police when you don’t reach your destination in time.
Tulane also offers Safe Ride Pickups, which allows students to phone in for pickup or drop-off service after hours.
The two are safety measures Barnwell recommends, along with the street smarts that got Saisha through undergrad.
“You just have to be aware, and especially being a girl you just need to be extra cautious and make sure you know what’s happening in the neighborhood.”