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Are Drexel and UPenn really in a very bad area?

drexelerdrexeler Registered User Posts: 708 Member
edited December 2009 in Drexel University
Well I've visited Drexel twice, each during the day, and I loved the city environment. BUT I've been researching about University City, UPenn, and Drexel; and I've been hearing that the campus and area really change by night. Is this completely true? Supposedly 30th Street is a really bad place to be walking around at night.

I also heard a statistic (on another CC thread) that an average of 1 student is murdered per year on the UPenn campus? How much danger will I be in if I go to Drexel? Are all these rumors true, or are they exaggerations coming from unexposed and/or stupid people?

I've had experience on my own in one of my state's most unsafe cities at a summer program, and I consider myself capable of living on an urban campus. So hopefully I won't be too horrified if I do choose Drexel :)

Thanks I REALLY appreciate any response. At this point it will make or break my Drexel decision :)
Post edited by drexeler on

Replies to: Are Drexel and UPenn really in a very bad area?

  • ZackduddeZackdudde Registered User Posts: 369 Member
    drexeler, first of all, when you say "research", what exactly do you mean?

    both Penn and Drexel are in west philly. Drexel goes out to about 34th st and Penn goes out to about 41st st. The bad parts of philly are either a lot more west, or a lot more north. There is virtually no "thug" crime anywhere on Drexel or Penn campus. Sure if you go to live off campus 10 blocks away from campus, you'd probably want to take extra precautions, but most people live in the general vicinity of Drexel, Penn, or Powelton Village, which is patrolled by drexel public safety, drexel police, philly police, penn police, penn public safety, university city ambassadors, etc. I don't know where you heard 30th street is a bad place. 30th street is across the street from drexel's campus, and very nice and 30th street station is packed with cops everywhere, postal police, amtrak police, septa police, philly police, etc.

    you will see the occasional homeless guy or bum asking you for money just like all cities, but they don't do any harm, so don't let that scare you. i've never heard of that murder statistic on upenn's campus, and I can't remember any time in the past few years a student's ever been murdered.

    sure you don't want to be drunk walking around alone at night in a bad neighborhood. i really can't think of anyone that's decided not to come to either drexel or penn because of so called "crime".

    bottom line is see for yourself, come to drexel and look around for yourself, or rome the area at night, or better yet just ask some random students what do you think of the safety. i'm sure they'll give you more of an answer of how annoying public safety is for being on every single street corner at night or about their parties being busted than some story about a crime.

    also, take a look at this article that just came out: Public Safety ranked 11th in nation - News
  • sarahjudithsarahjudith Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    If you're on campus, you're pretty darn safe. I've walked around by myself after midnight and haven't run into any issues thus far, and I'd be a prime target considering I'm pretty petite. I always see public safety and police officers patrolling the campus and surrounding areas, especially at night. That being said, I do recommend that you try to avoid walking alone at night just as a precaution, but there's really not that much crime on campus. The biggest issues are people stealing unlocked or poorly locked bikes and other unattended articles.

    Of course, there will always be incidences, and people may quote them when talking about Philadelphia, but trust me if you're aware of your surroundings you'll be fine. If you go around flaunting the large amount of cash in your wallet, maybe not so much. Common sense does people well.

    If you've already experienced an urban campus you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Also, don't venture too far west or north, because past Spring Garden the streets aren't patrolled by public safety anymore and can be a bit sketchy at night. That really isn't an issue though unless you decide to live that far off campus at some point.
  • drexelerdrexeler Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    Thanks so much! :D I'm a lot less scared now lol.

    I guess I wasn't clear on the research aspect, but I came across an old CC thread last night about College Campuses In Bad Areas (I think that was the title, I'll post the link if I find it again) and Drexel/UPenn were mentioned a lot. I also looked at pages with campus reviews off of Google a lot which probably wasn't very reliable lol. Nobody mentioned public safety or the police at all throughout all my research so I guess they really were rumors.

    But thanks again!! :) This will be my first time actually living in a city if I go to Drexel, so I guess I just got frightened when I read a bunch of those reviews.
  • drexelerdrexeler Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    Ok I found the thread with the Penn statistic:


    "Penn has an average of one student murdered every year. That to me leads me to believe its in a dangerous area. Much bigger schools have no murders at all for the past decade. Coming from someone who has been to the area and has a sister who attends penn I can tell you it is not in a very nice area compared to other universities."

    Now that I read it again, it sounds exaggerated and nearsighted.
  • BMPmomBMPmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I'm a long time Penn employee as well as a recent grad from Drexel, and have not personally experienced any problems on either campus during workday and evening class hours. But these are urban campuses that aren't wrapped in a protective bubble so you do need to be aware and and a bit cautious. There were increasing problems in the past few years with theft and muggings by groups of teens from the local high school, and the security presence was remarkably stepped up on and around both campuses. Penn also has great walking escort and transportation services (don't know as much about Drexel).
    Crime stats for Penn are published in the Almanac, available online at Almanac - University of Pennsylvania.
    Look under the "most wanted" column on left for weekly and annual crime reports.
This discussion has been closed.