Our Reader: Marshall Street shooting took place on campus, and should be addressed as such
On Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2:37 a.m., three members of the Syracuse community were shot on Marshall Street. There was no Orange Alert sent out and no formal acknowledgment by Syracuse University’s Administration until 5:11 a.m., when a campus wide public safety alert was sent out to the student body via email.
This shooting was regarded as an “off-campus” incident, despite the fact that the location where the shooting took place is surrounded by Syracuse University buildings. Though the location of the shooting might technically be off-campus, it took place just feet from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, School of Education, Marshall Square Mall and the Sheraton Inn, which serves as a dormitory for numerous Syracuse University students.
The lack of comment on this incident by our school’s administrators shows the desire of Syracuse University to disaffiliate with the community of which we belong: the Syracuse City community.
Our administration peddles a false narrative that while the city around us might be unsafe — SU’s campus is entirely safe. This narrative asserts that SU is a separate entity than the greater Syracuse community, that we are unaffected by the crime and poverty that exist just moments from campus.
By claiming that crime only takes place on the peripheries of campus, the university relieves itself of the social responsibility we have to engage with the City of Syracuse. It also points to the trend of Syracuse University behaving like a corporation. SU administrators are willing to put student safety at risk in order to keep up with appearances. Their motives in doing so are entirely financial — parents will more readily spend $65k a year to send their children to school when that school is regarded as safe.
To disaffiliate with from the community does nothing to improve the city we live in, and puts the safety of our students at risk.
I am calling on Chancellor Kent Syverud’s administration to do better, to acknowledge the social issues that take place in the City of Syracuse and to admit that crime in Syracuse is not just an “off-campus” issue. Syracuse University is one of the most powerful entities in the Syracuse community — it’s time we started acting like a community member, not only for the safety of our students, but for the betterment of the City of Syracuse.
Kelsey Olivia Fowler
Student Association Chair of Community Engagement, 60th Legislative Session
Senior, geography and political science
Published on February 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm