By Kristen MisakSpecial to the Chronicle
We all got the Oct. 7 e-mail from Student Affairs — President Rabinowitz is stepping up the security here at Hofstra. Students were shaken after last semester’s untimely tragedy that occurred so close to our campus, but now, the university president is acting to ensure that we feel safe on and off Hofstra’s grounds.
Rabinowitz organized a task force that researched and worked hard to find out where security changes needed to be made, and those changes shouldn't go unnoticed. Already, more emergency call booths have been added to campus, and additional lighting has been installed along common foot paths. These additions and the speed with which they were implemented demonstrate President Rabinowitz’s dedication to our safety.
Even off campus, the president has been in serious talks with local law enforcement to make sure that students who live or plan to travel off campus feel just as safe as they do when they are inside Hofstra gates.
In addition to Public Safety patrolling the nearby streets, now the Village of Hempstead has dedicated more patrols to the areas frequented by Hofstra students. It's just important for us to remember that these extra police officers are there to keep us safe, not to get us in trouble.
Students have previously been encouraged to keep themselves safe by travelling in large groups, but now there is also another option. As many students travel off campus late at night, President Rabinowitz proposed the idea of a night shuttle. The shuttle travels in the streets surrounding campus between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and is a much safer alternative to walking the streets of Hempstead after dark. So next time you go out on a Friday night, try taking the night shuttle. The system won’t be effective or advantageous unless students use it for all that it's worth.
One other announcement made by the president was the potential institution of a "Downtown Hofstra" district of campus. It would be a hub of restaurants and retail stores created to encourage students to stay at Hofstra for entertainment that they would typically seek in surrounding towns. In theory, this would keep students in a safe and controlled campus environment.
But would students really spend time in Downtown Hofstra? Roosevelt Field Mall is already so close to campus, and the Blue Beetle runs frequently to and from sites of off-campus entertainment. Besides that, there is a greater variety of entertainment options off campus than what would be available on campus. On the university’s part, it probably isn’t worth it to finance such a massive project. The money could be better spent on additional night shuttles or Blue Beetle routes.
All in all, President Rabinowitz is reacting appropriately and in good time with recent events, particularly the string of armed robberies earlier this semester. So far, the actions that he has taken go above and beyond expectations and simply show how much he cares for his students.