How Safe Do You Feel Downtown?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call Downtown Binghamton heaven on earth. Binghamton itself is a growing city, with various types of people and businesses. Sure, there are a ton of great places to go when downtown such as Lost Dog Café, Binghamton Hots, Galaxy Brewery, State St, etc. But, when the sun goes down and its just you and dark, cold downtown Bing, things can sometimes feel a little weird.

As many already know (thanks to Pipe Dream), just a couple weeks ago three Binghamton students, 2 females and 1 male, were assaulted by a group of strangers (more info here). These students were being smart and traveling with multiple people, not in the middle of nowhere, but just 2 streets away from the Binghamton police station. Yet, even with a group of three, these students were physically assaulted and were left to defend for themselves. If this doesn’t scare you, I really don’t know what will.

I myself have never truly felt unsafe because I’ve always traveled with at least one other person while downtown while also staying away from unknown areas. I am left with an uneasy feeling though after hearing about this incident. It is also disturbing that Binghamton University never announced the incident to the students of the university. When something as serious as this attack occurs, students should be made aware of it and also given helpful information on how to keep it from happening again. Not everyone knows the how-to’s of Downtown Binghamton, and I believe information should be shared.

In my opinion there are numerous ways to reduce the chances of incidences like these. FIRST OF ALL, it is Binghamton’s responsibility to keep its students safe. This is why they should be announcing events like this one to the student body. In order to keep people safe, they need to know about what has and what can happen. Second, the police should also keep students aware of these incidents; because with ones such as this, they can’t always be there the moment you might need them.

Since starting at Binghamton in fall of 2013, I have never truly felt physically threatened, luckily. I always walk with another person (the more the better) while attempting to stay on main and well-lit roads. But what would also be useful is something such as alerts and emails that warn me of any incidents that have occurred recently in the area I am in (which not one student has received since the recent incident occurred). Also, students should also be provided with a map of some sort when they first start at Binghamton, highlighting areas that could be seen as unsafe or where past incidents have occurred. If I know something occurred on a certain street, I’m more willing to stay away from that area.

There are plenty of ways to stay safe in an area that is supposed to provide entertainment and fun for students at Binghamton. The school just needs to wake up and realize that they are responsible for the safety of their students no matter where they are.