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Major Safety Concerns need to be Addressed Now


The Class of 2018 wants Accountability

The following is an open letter to the administration and to Loyola Public Safety, crafted and organized by Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Cirone in collaboration with Nicholas Palazzolo, a fellow student from the Class of 2018. This is written on behalf of, and with the effort of, the large group of students and parents who have become increasingly concerned with public safety at Loyola, and the views and statements of many of them are represented below.

The ultimate purpose of this open letter is to air grievances and a number of legitimate concerns in light of recent safety incidents. The goal in doing so is to be constructive, proactive, and collaborative with the Administration by giving notice so that Loyola can move forward in working together as a community of caring students, professors, and administrators. All Loyola students appreciate the efforts of everyone within the Loyola Community to come together in the face of adverse issues and to create long lasting solutions that work for the betterment of everyone.

By now, many of you are fully aware of the recent incident on the “Eastside” of Loyola’s campus. On the night of Oct. 4 at about 10 PM, there was an armed robbery and carjacking involving a Loyola student on Notre Dame Lane near Rahner Village.

LUM campus map cut out highlighting Eastside. Original map from University website

This is a situation that has greatly concerned students, especially those who live in this area of campus, and has brought many other serious concerns to light. Regarding these following issues, many students and parents have demonstrated extreme outrage and discontent toward Administration accountability, transparency, responses, and protocols encompassed within the vastly important topic of public safety.

  1. The lack of accountability and reliability of campus safety services during crisis

During the post-incident “Listening Session”, Tim Fox, Director of Public Safety gave his account of the response. According to Fox, Campus Police were called at 9:46 p.m. with reports of an armed robbery and automobile theft, and responded to determine where the suspects fled to. BPD also arrived within minutes. A “PM Evergreen” alert was sent to warn students to stay away from the area, however this alert wasn’t distributed until an hour after the incident. Fox attributed the major delay to “technical difficulties and an issue with the alert system”.

Zach Russo ’18 documented his own account of the events of Oct. 4, which he also presented to the administration at the Listening Session. Below is an excerpt from Russo’s account:

“My roommate called Campus Police at 10:53 p.m., prior to the first alert communication which came at 11:04 p.m. (almost an hour and a half after the incident). He asked if it was safe to go to the library because he heard a rumor that there was an armed robbery, and after putting him on hold and consulting a superior, the receptionist said the area was cleared by the Baltimore [City] Police and that he could go. If he did not feel safe, he could take an escort. Moments later, at 11:04 p.m., we received the first alert text that it was not safe to leave, which was more than an hour after the robbery, and 11 minutes after my roommate was told it was safe.

The last alert came at 11:30 p.m. and informed us that Campus Police would be stationed in the Rahner Village area ‘for the rest of the night.’ At 11:56 p.m., I drove to pick up my friend from the library and saw no Campus Police officers stationed between Rahner and the library. I documented this trip with a video.”

The performance of the campus alert system during this incident is completely unacceptable. Many students who were in the middle of walking to this area of campus were completely unaware of the incident, until after it had transpired. Further, the lack of appropriate Campus Police presence on the “Eastside” of campus in response to the incident was clearly seen. This begs the question; how are we supposed to feel safe on campus when there was absolutely no visible Campus Police presence not even three hours after an armed robbery?

  1. Listening session forum unearths more dissatisfaction with Campus Police

A “Listening Session” was held on Thursday October 5th at 4 p.m. to address concerns of safety on the Eastside of campus. The Listening Session began with students raising points and questions, and administration answering what they could. But for some students, they left the session with more questions than answers.

“I hoped to hear plausible solutions to the public safety problems our school is facing, but I left more angry than when I came in and with no concrete solutions.”

-Member of the Class of ‘18

While this particular student requested to not be named, the general sentiments from students showed more dissatisfaction.

There were also points made in regard to the effectiveness of Campus Police in securing Loyola grounds, and Campus Police’s actual presence on campus.

“I’ve seen many officers on their phones during the job, even playing Candy Crush instead of wanting to give students a ride to the FAC during late hours. I hate to say it but I have even seen one sleeping in their car in a reclined position.”

David Bjorklund ‘18 said.

Students were as a whole not satisfied with these responses. And rightfully so—Campus Police has serious shortcomings when it comes to doing their job.

When the topic of budget concerns in regards to increasing Campus Police resources was brought up at the session, Elizabeth Hull ‘18 said that “it’s becoming more of a safety issue, and you can’t put a price on safety.”

“I get the sense that Loyola Public Safety is too focused on breaking up social events than keeping their motives focused on the safety and security of its students. When incidents have occurred on campus, emergency messages from public safety have been slow to receive. When the intruder situation on N. Charles and Cold Spring lane occurred during Spring 2017, I didn’t receive any of the alert messages until an hour after the incident had already taken place.”

-Amanda Spaeth ‘18 said in response to the Listening Session.

Many students, when asked, made it clear they did not believe they would have an opportunity to follow up with the Administration, let alone expect permanent changes to campus. The Administration had very little to say and we feel that they did not give any specific information about actions that will be taken.

  1. Safety issues occurring without recognition of the university

Within the last two weeks, sightings and encounters of a man carrying an ax have surfaced from Loyola students. He has been seen in the gated Homeland community and surrounding area, where many Loyola students choose to live for their senior year. Seniors have reported the man following them, brandishing an ax, and threatening them.

Flyers have been seen attached to trees and boards warning Homeland residents of the man’s presence, but an official acknowledgment and warning to students from Public Safety has yet to be sent out. Many believe that a man wandering around with an ax and threatening students is something that should be worthy of a PM Evergreen alert.

The lack of notification regarding this man from the University is disturbing to say the least.

Torie Smith-Israel, a Class of 2018 student who lives in Homeland was very disappointed by the lack of response. “I thought it was a little ridiculous that I didn’t hear about it through Loyola. I only heard about it through someone’s [Snapchat] story,” said Smith-Israel.

Brendan Sullivan ‘18 also lives in the Homeland development and was concerned about not receiving notifications. “I feel that considering Loyola has their alert infrastructure in place we should at least have gotten an email since this guy [the “ax man”] is basically our neighbor,” Sullivan said. He also noted that he understands that Campus Police cannot fully investigate every incident, but the fact students have not been updated about the status concerned him.

Students who had encounters with this man have notified both Baltimore police and Loyola Campus Police, and an investigation is currently underway. Campus Police has not yet responded to a request for more information.

This is indicative of a larger problem with transparency in the way Public Safety operates. The Loyola Community needs to be provided with more adequate information regarding the ways Campus Police actually secures our campus and the methods and practices they utilize. More effective and appropriate channels with the purposes of distributing information and updates on incidents and police practices need to be set up, and the current way information is distributed needs to be reformed.

What is the point in having a campus-wide alert system if it won’t be used when a man with an ax is approaching students or if technological issues prevent it from being effectively utilized in times of crisis?

Campus Police needs to have more of a presence in the Loyola Community, and be more directly involved in the lives of students who call Loyola home. Students need to be made more aware of Campus Police actions, updates, and security concerns more regularly and easily.

  1. The Increased number of incidents over the past few years

Over the past few years students have noticed an increasing trend in the amount of serious incidents of crime at Loyola. These are remembered clearly by many students, and some of the more notable occurrences are listed below. A full list of incidents can be found here.

Three notable and recent occurrences regarding public safety include an armed robbery of students on campus near Maryland Hall in the fall of 2015, an armed robbery of students near the Seton Court residence hall in the spring of 2017, and a car accident at the intersection of North Charles Street and Cold Spring Lane caused by a carjacking in the spring of 2017. After this accident, four individuals fled the scene and ran onto the west side of campus trying to escape. Two were apprehended and two others fled into the woods heading away from campus. No students were notified about the incident until it had ended.

While there have been safety incidences all around campus in the past, one area is known in particular as a “weak point” in campus security. The entrance to Notre Dame Lane, off of York Road, has been an access point for those committing crimes against students. While this fact is known, some responses to requests for increased security in the area are hesitant. Certain students and administrators believe that increasing security presence in the area would hinder relations with the York Road community. Others however, disagree.

“I want to know why perceived relations are held in higher regard than legitimate student safety. Parents will not send their children to any college or university that is perceived as unsafe. I don’t want the lives of myself and my classmates to be threatened because we’re scared to offend others.”

-Lydia Pritchard ’18 said.

The most recent conflict to occur in the Notre Dame Lane/York Road entrance other than the incident on October 4th was on April 5, 2017, only six months ago. Here is an excerpt of the report sent to students post-incident:

“Loyola Campus Police received information about a shooting that occurred in an area near Loyola’s Evergreen campus, on Ready Avenue a block east of York Road [Loyola is located a few blocks west of York Road]. The suspect fled the shooting scene in a vehicle and was seen heading toward Norwood Road (off of Notre Dame Lane) in a neighborhood bordering the east side of Loyola’s campus. The suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Baltimore City Police and Loyola Campus Police responded immediately.”

During the Listening Session on Oct 5th, Director of Public Safety Tim Fox referred to this area as “the soft side of campus” as it is harder to secure than other sections of the University. The York Road/Notre Dame entrance to campus is a weak point in security, especially from the perspective of what is there. Unlike other open areas to campus, this section is exclusively dorm buildings and are always active with students. Regardless of the originations of the assailants, extra caution by both students and security must be taken in this area.

Stefan Joyce ’20, The Greyhound’s Arts & Society Editor noted that “crime doesn’t need to be consistent for there to be a consistent and effective security plan.”

Chris DeLeo ‘18 additionally stated that he is “grateful for our law enforcement on campus and think they do a good job overall.” However, in light of recent events DeLeo says that he “hope[s] they never become complacent again and always maintain a sense of urgency.”

Campus Police needs to more effective and visibly assert their presence on campus, especially on the Eastside of campus to aid in deterring similar incidences in the future.

Reports of Campus Police vehicles left unoccupied for hours in this critical area are deeply concerning, an uneasy thought at a time when more presence was promised.

  1. Shortcomings and inefficiencies in regard to crucial services

Two services on campus, the shuttle system and Student Escorts, which sometimes are viewed as convenience services, are crucial to ensuring student safety and well-being, especially after dark. These services boost students’ ability to traverse campus easily, fast, and, most importantly, safely. They need to be reliable, dependable, and readily available. Neither of these services fit that description, however.

The shuttle service for quite some time now has been under constant criticism from students. By checking the Double Map app, which reveals locations of the shuttles, one can often see shuttles either stagnant in their lot, or bunched up together following each other.

This was the case, even after the administration announced more shuttles to boost student safety following the Listening Session. For instance, on the night of Oct. 8, from around 10-11 p.m., two shuttles sat in their parking lot instead of shuttling students to and from an area on campus where a serious crime occurred just days earlier. Hearing of students using Uber to return home from the FAC is not uncommon.

Student Escort services is in a bit of a different situation, as it does not even have the funds to get off the ground most times. Understaffed, underfunded (according to Tim Fox at the Listening Session), and without proper support, the Student Escort service should be the perfect system to ferry students around campus at times where they might feel unsafe, but oftentimes phone requests for an escort will go unanswered.

This is especially concerning as it is portrayed as dependable and on-call by the University. The Student Escort system needs to be completely revamped and re-energized to give students more options in situations where they may feel unsafe.


At the Listening Session, Senior Vice President Terry Sawyer emphasized that “safety is the absolute major priority” of the University and reassured that the “vast majority of students never experience crime.” This is without a doubt very true, and every student appreciates the administration’s commitment to safety. We all care deeply about this issue, because we love Loyola and want to see our University succeed. This is why we need action in addressing concerns and why we want to work together in solving the issues addressed above.

What we want is accountability, transparency, and safety. We want accountability from the administration and public safety in what many see as a security deficiency. We want transparency from both the administration and public safety in what many see as a lack of information regarding crucial issues, whether in security, communication, or internal affairs. We want an appropriate long-term plan to deal with what many see as growing trends in security concerns.

All readers are encouraged to sign this constructive petition and commit to holding the University accountable for safety, and express desire to see real changes and solutions enacted.

Greyhounds do best when they act together. Let’s act together and commit to making Loyola a better, safer, and more secure place to learn, to live, and to grow for years to come.

*Updated 10/11/12 at 4:52 pm: A previous version of this letter incorrectly stated that “shuttle service to the FAC was being phased out”. FAC service is not ending.
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  • Emily CameronOct 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm


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    DeeOct 15, 2017 at 9:00 am

    So in the past week since all this information was disclosed, have administrators responded in any way? Apparently not, since students have not seen additional security and shuttle service is as bad as ever…

  • S

    SarahOct 12, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I transferred out of Loyola last year, and one of the reasons why was that I did not feel safe in the slightest. The shuttle service is an absolute joke, and the Campus Police are more interested in writing tickets to students for the most ridiculous offenses instead of being stationed near places such as CVS and the library. Loyola’s administration overall lacks the accountability that a school should have in a dangerous city like Baltimore. If they are more concerned with keeping their relations good with York Road, one of the most dangerous roads in the city, then i don’t know what else there is to say. Overall, Loyola needs to redo their entire administration, as they are obviously oblivious to the fact that a gate, or higher security measures are badly needed. My best friend goes to Fordham, and even though she lives off campus in the Bronx, she says there is always a presence by both campus security, and the NYPD. There is also a gate around the entire campus, and ID is needed to enter. Not once the entire year last year did I see a BPD car around campus except for when a crime occurred, and not once did they ever catch the suspect. I care about a lot of people at Loyola still, and I am very concerned for their safety, as the administration is oblivious to the fact that the school is located in a bad area. I’m glad I’m not there anymore, but I still want the best for Loyola, and all of its students. Hopefully this gets resolved, and change occurs. It’s badly needed.

    • N

      Nicholas CironeOct 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks for your comment Sarah. I’m sorry to hear that you had decided to transfer. I obviously completely understand your concerns about safety (obviously which is what prompted the writing of this), but Loyola truly is a great place that for me atleast has given me countless opportunities. Which is why this issue is so greatly important to me and so many students; we want to see Loyola constantly improve and get better and better. That’s why it’s our responsibility to take action and speak out when we see problems such as with campus safety. I’m confident that the Administration will take these concerns seriously and we’ll begin to see some real improvement.

  • G

    GeorgeOct 12, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Based on some of the comments here and our daughter’s own experience, the hiring practices and the retraining of the shuttle bus drivers and the campus police officers should be part of the plan. Also, how about putting a campus police outpost on the East side of the campus

    • J

      JohnOct 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      That is where their main building is. It is right across the street from Rhaner Village

  • D

    D. RussoOct 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!! This has been going on for years;. Loyola police not patrolling after dark; the shuttles are a joke. Now that we have DoubleMap we can actually see what we’ve known all along; 2 or 3 parked at the FAC or York Rd for 20-30 minutes instead of being available for students. Parents of all classes should know about this and check the incident reports.(although many incidents are not posted!) I myself have been disconnected several times while trying to contact someone regarding these events over the past few years. It appears Loyola only responds to incidents after they have occurred instead of doing their jobs to PREVENT them! We as parents are not asking for anything special, just what YOU committed to doing before we signed on for four years!!!

    • P

      patriciaOct 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Well said and I agree that regardless of the increase in crime & an identified “ax man” threatening students; Loyola safety has sadly fallen into a reactive state of operation vs a PROACTIVE one to provide for our students & the changing times that we are presented with on unpredictable times. Due to these facts about our surroundings, WE as a LOYOLA FAMILY, can not that crime take over because security guards or shuttles promised to be available to students ASAP…are seen sleeping, playing games, sitting in lots, vs being out on alert to PREVENT dangerous situations vs waiting until they occur and then delay communication to EVERYONE in POSSIBLE danger. A student getting a message that it’s safe to go to the library from a Loyola official; to only hear moments later…NO it’s nit safe is unacceptable! What if these were your own children? Would u be satisfied with what we are being told by officials in charge of keeping the students safe?
      I hope we can seriously discuss what changes can be made immediately, and what plans are in place to improve communication to students & parents when an unsafe situation exists. My daughter had friends at fair bigger universities in Maryland than Loyola and their communication to seek safety to students is prompt & parents are notified on patent hot line? Can’t Loyola start to reassess what seems to be an outdated system for 2017-18? I certainly hope so! After all that’s why we chose Loyola over other universities; the promise that safety comes first! Thank you & I hope we can proceed in a positive & productive manner to make the necessary changes needed to accomplish these once promised goals.

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    PatOct 10, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Shared on the parents page for class of 2020. Was this shared on all students Facebook class page? Need to get 100% of students signatures and their parents. Great article.

  • D

    DonnaOct 10, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    They need to add more security on campus. Increase the shuttles around campus, add more gates and have more security visible.

  • AnonymousOct 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm


  • AnonymousOct 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm


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    KAREN wEINSTEIN-lIMONEOct 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Nicholas I am a parent and had lengthy conversations with both Tim Fox and Rob Kelley yesterday as I am very disturbed about the lack of security. I am told a light study is underway along with a gate study. I asked what was being done at this time to actually make improvements. I am told additional overtime patrols have been added by third party city police. When I asked to see a schedule of patrols the request was denied, I requested that the officer on patrol inside the library be available to escort students and was told the officer will not be able to leave the library because the students inside make poor choices and the library needs to be patrolled. I let Rob Kelly know that was an unsatisfactory answer as I would think nothing is more important than the safety of Loyola students. At the end of the conversation I obtained agreement from Rob that he would place a security guard in the library parking lot. I don’t think student escorts are the answer to your issue, additional security must be put into place and Loyola needs to increase budget and headcount. If a student were to be injured in any of these incidents, it would be must more costly to Loyola than improvements in security. I have signed the petition, please let me know what else I can do as a parent to help.

    • K

      KaThryn burNsOct 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you for the informative article and follow-up with Loyola Security and the Vice President. As an alumna and relative of a current student, I’m very concerned about the safety of students, faculty and staff at Loyola in the increasingly violent city of Baltimore. I agree with the suggestion to look at other universities like Hopkins for reference. I also would like to see armed Baltimore City Police back on campus. Unarmed security guards are not a deterrent to the armed criminals stalking the campus.

      There are no excuses for this.

  • A

    anonymousOct 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I have seen Lopo smoking cigarettes on the job, in their cars. In addition, there is also a HUGE problem with the shuttle services and escorts. I have a late shift at the gym and I do not feel safe in the slightest walking back alone in the dark to main campus. Most of the time there is one shuttle, maybe two running and it takes 20+ minutes for them to come to the gym. Sometimes they skip the stop all together, other times they stay in one spot for 10+ minutes (i have see shuttle drivers stop behind Newman to smoke cigarettes). Just the other day I was walking out the door of the gym waving down the shuttle, who stopped and opened their door, then closed it and drove away as if I was not obviously trying to get on. In the event I do catch a shuttle the drivers are very nasty and act like my coming on is the worst thing that could possibly happen to them. Because of this, sometimes I try to call escorts to give me a ride back to my dorm and there is so answer, I call campus police and they either tell me the shuttle are running or put me on hold saying they are contacting transportation services to address the problem, but neither of these help me and I often am waiting 20+ minutes for nothing and eventually walk back alone in the dark or have had to pay for an uber to go less then a mile. My parents has tried to contact the school multiple times since my freshman year when these concerns started and have directly emailed Farther Linnane and have never received any type of response. For a school in an area such as this it is ridiculous that there are not more safety precautions being taken, and those that are available are not reliable, poor quality, and inconvenient.

  • S

    SarahOct 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    This article is incredibly candid and I highly respect the author for making these remarks. It dumbfounds me how Loyola’s Campus Police is somehow able to patrol the neighboring areas and ticket students’ cars within minutes of parking but cannot properly respond to armed robberies on campus. Loyola should consult Johns Hopkins, as Hopkins has superior patrol over Loyola’s. They have guards on foot at EVERY intersection, wearing bright, reflective jackets. I feel much more safe in Hopkins territory (which even is in a more urban environment) than I feel walking to the FAC at night. Also, why are students manning the desks in residence halls after dark? In this day in age, I believe Campus Police should be responsible for overseeing this too.

  • J

    Janice SandersOct 9, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Thanking for writing this as the parents are getting NOTHING from the school. this situation is very disturbing. Please let us know what we can do to help get the attention of the school and get them to PLEASE do something to keep its students safe.

    • N

      Nicholas CironeOct 10, 2017 at 12:49 am

      Hello Janice. At this point what you can do to help is to sign this petition and commit to working with the whole of the Loyola Community to help alleviate this situation. We want to stress that no one is the “enemy” here, and no one person or group is to blame, we all are to work constructively together to make progress. I have faith that the Administration will take steps to work with the wider community in our goals for constructive progress.

  • B

    Bea ParisOct 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Need more security, it is obvious.

  • L

    LilyOct 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    How do I sign this petition letter?

    • N

      Nicholas CironeOct 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Lily, you can click on the hyperlink in the second to last line of the letter on the word “petition”.

  • J

    JohnOct 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    As a fellow student and Supervisor of the Student Escort Services. I can absolutely agree with the above statements. However, a issue ls we have seen in trying to get all times of the day covered by Escort drivers are:
    1. Hindered by the fact that there are students who refuse to work on Friday and Saturday nights, which are “high volume times”, due to social events.

    2. There are not a lot of work study eligible students who want this job. Since these are the only types of students we can hire, we are limited on staff.

    • N

      Nicholas CironeOct 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Would the system benefit from allowing non-work study students to apply if there are still spots left open?

      • J

        JohnOct 10, 2017 at 12:01 am

        It could as long as those people who are non-work study would work those shifts. Part of the issue is that the school has only allowed for it to be funded by work study money. So unless someone within administration makes the change that allows other monetary funding we are kind of stuck.

        • N

          Nicholas CironeOct 10, 2017 at 12:50 am

          Interesting situation, we hope that more awareness of this issue prompts response and potentially change from the admin.

  • AnonymousOct 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm


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  • Nicholas CironeOct 9, 2017 at 1:41 pm


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Major Safety Concerns need to be Addressed Now