University of Rochester - safety of town

<p>Hi - we are planning to go on a trip to visit University of Rochester. In so many ways it sounds like an ideal fit, however I've heard Rochester isn't very safe and there's not much to do there. Can anyone give me any insight? I'd hate for my child to be stuck on campus if she does attend. Thank you</p>

<p>Go see UR with an open mind. It is a lovely campus and there are lots of campus activities. There are areas in the City that students frequent, and others they probably stay away from. There are many clubs or other activities that allow kids to get off campus, along with restaurants and other social events. Some kids move off campus as upper classmen. </p>

<p>If your daughter is looking for a true big city school she should stick to Boston, NY or DC, and UR may not be the place for her. But kids I know at UR are happy, whether they are studious, athletic or even into a bit of a party/frat scene.</p>

<p>If U of R wasn't a secure campus and comfortable immidiate surroundings, they wouldn't attract the high caliber students they that presently do, successfully. I'd like to believe I'm objective. My niece graduated from an excellent but socially insulated high school in the Pacific Northwest. She is in her second year at U of R and thinks it's the best thing that ever happened to her.</p>

<p>I'll be attending UofR this fall of 2010 but have visited the area recently. There may not be much to do in Rochester but there's tons of activities to do on campus. To be honest, I thought the city of Rochester was really friendly and accomodating as opposed to NYC where I'm from. And it's up to the kid too; if he/she knows how to be safe and avoid the trouble you won't have to worry about that.</p>

<p>I am from Rochester and I do agree with the comments above. It is a question of KNOWING which neighborhood areas to avoid. Most students frequent University/Park Ave/East Ave area as well as some of the malls, and villages nearby (Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton). </p>

<p>Transportation is a bit of an issue as public transit here isn't that great. But as long your D gets to know some people who will have cars and finds activities on campus, she'll be a-okay. Go in with an open mind.</p>

<p>Just got back from spending a week in Rochester, visiting my D who is a rising junior at UR. D is living in South Wedge for the summer and feels confident enough about her surroundings that she and her two roommates all ride bikes back and forth to campus--even in the evenings. </p>

<p>D was defensive when I pointed out Rochester's distressing crime statistics and said she personally hadn't experienced or observed any of that. </p>

<p>(However, she did note that friends of her who lived in a "bad" neighborhood this summer were robbed and one of the boys who lived there was assaulted and beaten badly enough he ended up in the hospital. Police suspect the robbery & assault was part of a gang initiation. Shocking, but the same thing happens in my hometown too. All cities and towns have their good and bad areas.)</p>

<p>Students are UR quickly learn what neighborhoods are safe and not so wonderful. D easily pointed out where NOT to go and where neighborhoods changed from OK to sleazy.</p>

<p>Students are not "trapped" on campus. The area around UR is reasonably safe. D frequently goes to downtown/Park Ave/Monroe Ave and RIT for activities, shows, dining out etc. </p>

<p>It was interesting to see UR and the city of Rochester in the summer. The city seems to have a very different character in the summer, esp. downtown. Lots of sidewalk cafes. Lots of festivals and outdoor shows. It was quite nice, actually. Very green and pretty.</p>

<p>Two relatives attended, one long ago, one now. Both said they had little to do with the city, and rarely went off campus.</p>

<p>Rochester ranked as the 33rd worst city in the USA according to this report: <a href="http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2009/CityCrime2009_Rank_Rev.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2009/CityCrime2009_Rank_Rev.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>But as others have said, if you are smart and avoid the bad areas, it won't be that bad.</p>

<p>I'd be more worried about my kid being able to deal with the miserable winter weather.</p>

<p>Reportedly they have tunnels between buildings.
But unfortunately not to dorms.</p>

<p>I didn't realize Rochester was somewhat of a dicey city, the relatives didn't mention that to me. Maybe because, like I said they basically never went into the city. Then again, I'm not sure which is cause and which is effect.
Here in lower NY it doesn't have a bad reputation, that I've heard, but people don't talk much about Rochester at all.</p>

<p>When I was there it didn't seem dangerous- I guess I wasn't in those areas- but it did seem very much like a "you need a car" city.</p>

<p>Rochester is a real city, with an industrial past, public transportation, middle class neighborhoods, poor parts of town, concert halls and theaters, green space (parks), etc. I don't see how students would be 'stuck on campus' unless they felt unable to cope with things like taking public transportation, and other aspects of city living.</p>

<p>'being stuck on campus' is usually more of a phenomenon in rural LAC's, I would think.</p>

<p>UR does have some tunnels between buildings, including the library and many of the classroom bldgs on the main quad. I am not sure if the tunnels connect to the engineering bldgs. They do not connect with the Student Union, any of the dorms, gym, cafeterias or to the medical campus across the street.</p>

<p>Both city buses (free with UR student ID) and UR shuttles run to most places students might need to go, including the Eastman campus, downtown, Park Ave, Marketplace Mall, movie theaters and the airport. </p>

<p>Taxi service is subsidized by the university via vouchers and discount coupons. Also there are 3-4 Zipcars available on campus, if the student is over 18.</p>

<p>You can get along just without a car on campus.</p>

<p>And the winters are a bigger issue for my D than the crime or the urban location. She hates them, but it's only for 4 years. Besides, it's great incentive to stay in and study when it's nasty outside.</p>

<p>I get actual crime reports from the Rochester police. They show a 5 mile radius of school - though it seems to go further. In the months I've received them, there has been no crime on or near campus. The closest has been on the other side of the river - the 19th Ward, which is mostly minority but which close to the school is where some kids choose to rent apartments. Almost all of the crimes reported in the 19th Ward has been away from school, mostly to the north, near Mayor's Heights, which abuts downtown and which is turning around as a neighborhood, I gather.</p>

<p>To be blunt: almost all the crime and certainly almost all the violent crime is northwest of downtown, on the other side of the city since UR is southeast of downtown. I've been in that area. It's poor, really poor. It is like bad neighborhoods everywhere. You have no reason to go there at all. None. </p>

<p>[To be completely honest, today I got the first violent crime report for anywhere near campus. It was again in the 19th Ward - across the river - but not up in Mayor's Heights. The crime report says: "06/19/2010 03:11 AM Larry Kinsey, 47,was found in the street with gunshot wound to the groin." The other 4 major crimes over the weekend were north of downtown. Remember: the Rochester area has 1 million people and the city has 200k. The crime stats cover a bunch of towns.]</p>

<p>When we visit, we like to stay at the Staybridge Suites hotel directly across the river from UR. The bridge is a nice little walk. Very pretty. Great view over the river.</p>

<p>Thank you All - Lergnmom - hearing those stats really helped to put my mind more at ease. I looked into Staybridge Suites but there is no availability the day we'll be in town. Is there another hotel you would recommend? I was looking at the Hyatt downtown, but actually heard in a review that it was in a bad area? Any info on a good hotel would be great.</p>

<p>I've stayed at the Country Inns and Suites on West Henrietta--which near Marketplace Mall and about an easy 15 minute drive from UR on Rte 15. If you go from 15 to Elmwood, you'll also pass the UR Optics Institute campus and the Southside apts (aka GLC--which is residence area many sophomores end up living in) on the way to River campus.</p>

<p>I've found the parking downtown a bit challenging.</p>

<p>Just got an alumni news e-mail from the UofR and they have a link to a recent Forbes rating with Rochester being the third best city in the country for families.</p>

<p>I attended a long time ago, but can count the number of times I left campus on one hand (of course, back then, the drinking age was 18 and the campus was wet, as well as having some of the first coed dorms). Seems like today's students go off campus a lot more...for community service, shopping, dining. etc., even when there's plenty to do on campus.</p>

<p>There's also a Homewood Suites right off the freeway. One advantage to the city is that getting around is very easy. UR is 10 minutes from downtown. The shopping malls south of UR - past RIT, which is 3 minutes away, maybe - are maybe 10 minutes that way. </p>

<p>In other words, you don't have to stay downtown. You can stay anywhere and not be far.</p>

<p>Rochester also has a number of good restaurants. </p>

<p>smdur, UR now has many more organized trips off campus and there are a lot of internships - because Rochester is a major metro area and has big companies and a government. For example, I ate at Tapas 177 - downtown - and the waiter said the next night a UR sorority rented the place out, that they used a bus and did this fairly often. (BTW, good restaurant.)</p>

<p>For those of you that are considering the U of R, they are currently in the preliminary stages of a project in the Mount Hope/Elmwood area by the campus and URMC that (though it is a royal pain traffic wise now), will be a great student friendly area with shops and restaurants when completed.</p>

<p>If you are in Rochester, head over to Park Point by the RIT campus, which was just completed (GREAT place, go there all the time!), the Mount Hope project will be similar.</p>

<p>I agree that most of the serious crime is in other parts of the city. The campus area is not totally immune, but if you are careful you should be fine.</p>

<p>On another note - my D is doing market research this summer for RTS, the local bus service, they plan on some great improvements based on survey feedback that will benefit students as well as us locals....a long time coming in my opinion.</p>

<p>My son graduated from Eastman in 2006. He lived downtown all 4 years. Downtown has some rough areas but campus security was very good about telling students which areas to avoid and helping them learn to be street smart. I sense that campus security is quite good. One night, he was at a small party off campus and one of his friends became very ill. They called 911 and campus security was there before anyone else. He said he always felt that security was pretty much on the ball.</p>

<p>My son attended URochester and hated it. Gray endless winters. He was lonely and depressed and sad that all his friends from HS wouldn't go visit him because he was sooo far away. He wouldn't really say he hated anything, but it was a terrible fit. It didn't matter that the area was shakey, he never once left campus. Lost weight. Professors didn't know him. (One emailed him AFTER he got home in December asking for his TA's name. My son didn't know he had a TA. That meant he got a zero for all the quizzes he missed.) The only thing he liked was the tunnels.</p>

<p>I closely know someone who goes to Rochester and he says the downtown area is very bad. Of course, this guy is an intl whose native city doesn't have the concept of "bad areas" so he would be more sensitive to the American regular concept of "bad areas". He says that a local woman told him she would never go into downtown bad areas alone, she would only go during the day-time with her husband and with a gun. Of course, this is only one student but it's something to think about.</p>