Crime in Cortland

by Colleen Moran,, May 20, 2010

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Coming from a small town in Central New York I don't really hear much about crime outbreaks and I really don't have to worry about crime in my neighborhood. Whitesboro, New York is my hometown; it is located right outside of Utica. Utica was once a flourishing city, then it became run down with some sections starting to be considered very unsafe. Utica is starting to improve, but still there are some places you don't want to go to at night, especially alone. Growing up in Whitesboro, however, I was never really affected by crime; probably one of the worst things that happened was on Halloween when teenagers would smash our pumpkins. Coming to college at Cortland I didn't think anything would really change.

One of my older brothers, Dan, goes to SUNY ESF, located in Syracuse, and he would talk about the crimes that occur in the surrounding area. The recent events that have been taking place in Cortland have made me realize that the events that occur in big cities can happen anywhere. It doesn't matter where you are--anyone can still get stabbed, raped, and people can get jumped.

Cortland is a college town; I can hardly imagine this town without college students wandering around. I know that students can cause a ruckus and create issues, but I feel that we also bring a lot to the town. Now, however I can see more clearly why year round residents have issues with us. Crimes have been occurring on a weekly basis. I do know that not all of them are college students but I feel that these crimes are giving us a bad name.

The recent crime spree is both scary and eye opening. My friends and I don't really feel safe, even in the day it is hard to stop thinking about everything that has been going on. Last Saturday was a day for students to celebrate and have a lot of fun and the day was great, until a young man was stabbed five times in the chest, resulting in him being transported to SUNY Upstate Medical Center. The young man that was stabbed was a football player, and it makes you think that if a football player can't defend himself; how're the women suppose to? Two young men were also robbed at gun point one night, while they were walking along Groton Avenue.

In college you always hear about girls getting raped and how we should be extremely careful because guys will try to date rape women. Now, however, women were raped just when they were walking to a house. I feel that the whole campus is a little on edge, because there aren't any leads on who has been doing this, and I know that I can't help but to always be a little nervous. On Tuesday, I was walking back from the 281 lot by myself, so I called my Mom just so that I felt a little more comfortable. The whole walk home I couldn't help but look behind me just to make sure nobody was there.

When entering into college you always hear about girls getting raped at parties, but what about when the person doing the crime is a professor, somebody that we are suppose to be able to trust. When I heard about the professor that was arrested, this put my mind in a whole different place. Professors are suppose to be the people students can trust and come to with the problems; what are we suppose to think when a professor is arrested for raping young girls. This may be one case, but imagine how hard it must've been for the girls to come forward and tell somebody what happened. A professor should be somebody that you can come to with any issues, and for the most part I feel that I can talk to most of my teachers, but when news like this comes out, I feel that many students had to take a step back. I can't even imagine how members of the faculty feel to hear that one of their colleagues was committing such a horrible crime, and has done it more than once.

Most of the crimes are occurring around Groton Avenue and Monroe Heights. Some people have said it is members of the Omega Fraternity, which is a fraternity that is not recognized by SUNY Cortland. Other people think it could be members of the Beta Fraternity, which is banned from campus. There have also been recent reports that gangs from downstate are starting to come upstate. Something that is really scary about these crimes is that it doesn't seem like there is a good description of the person who has committed the crimes. Also, many people speculate that the offenses are all connected, but there isn't proof.

The recent crime sprees have left me wondering what is going on in Cortland. It's almost like Cortland is a microcosm of the rest of the world, as crime seems to be spreading everywhere. Often times, I find myself thinking that crimes of such severity can't happen in Cortland, and then these recent events occur. It makes me realize that anything really can happen and even though Cortland seems like a mellow place bad things can still happen, and horrible crimes can happen anywhere.

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