Quad Security Questioned

In response to recent increase in crime, HoCo asks for increased security

A new petition created by the Pforzheimer House Committee executives calls for increases in security around the Quad.

The petition, which as of yesterday evening had over 100 signatures, calls for an increase in the number of Harvard University Police Department officers on duty in the Quad area, more blue phones on Garden Street, extended shuttle service during the night, as well as a new HUPD safety awareness campaign.

Elizabeth B. Hadaway ’09, a Pforzheimer HoCo co-chair, said the petition was created following a HoCo forum to address safety issues in mid-September.

“It’s all part of the process of trying to figure out what our concerns are,” Hadaway said. “We wanted to have a dialogue and articulate our concerns.”

Hadaway explained she met with Pfoho Resident Dean Lisa M. Boes and two HUPD officers several weeks ago to address safety.

Since the meeting, however, incidents have continued to occur, including multiple burglaries and a car theft.

According to Hadaway, the HUPD officers told her that given the economic downturn, people hard-strapped for cash would attempt to steal more.

The petition created by Hadaway, fellow co-chair Rafael A.P. Miranda ’09, and HoCo executive Krista E. Weiss ’09 follows an Undergraduate Council meeting two weeks ago that featured a discussion between students and HUPD Chief Francis D. “Bud” Riley and HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano.

Hadaway said that the meeting had been informative for students, adding that HUPD has always been supportive of maintaining Quadlings’ safety.

The petition’s intended recipients, Hadaway said, are members of University administration.

When asked if she believed the administration was giving Quad safety enough attention, Hadaway responded, “the verdict is still out.”

The petition’s creators said they hope the petition will serve as a resource for UC representatives working with the administration to promote new safety measures.

Daniel V. Kroop ’10, a Pforzheimer UC representative, called the petition an important effort to increase the Quadlings’ voice.

“The UC works best when students are getting involved personally in advocacy, when it has strength at the grassroots level,” Kroop said.

“[The petition is] an important advocacy symbol and hopefully will be a harbinger of advocacy efforts to come,” he said.

Hadaway said she hopes the petition will mark the beginning of a dialogue with University administration.

“I’m totally willing to meet with [the administration], and I’m sure the other House Committee reps and house masters would, too,” she said.

—Staff writer Alexander R. Konrad can be reached at akonrad@fas.harvard.edu.