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Is Chicago "ghetto?" (61st street and stuff)

thesyst3mthesyst3m - Posts: 41 Junior Member
edited September 2012 in University of Chicago
Back in my dad's day (he's alum), some kid got shot on campus (as I'm told).

Question, how are the "hoodz" today? How safe is the campus? I've heard rumours that there are bullet holes against the school's buildings and stuff... wonder if that's true.
Post edited by thesyst3m on

Replies to: Is Chicago "ghetto?" (61st street and stuff)

  • chickenlegschickenlegs Registered User Posts: 281 Junior Member
    i don't think the neighborhood is ghetto at all. uchicago is located in hyde park, which is a very diverse neighborhood.. rich.. nice houses, beautiful lawns. a very very nice neighborhood actually. maybe areas around the hyde park area and the university may be a little shady, but certainly not the university or the neighborhood it is in.
  • SarahbaraSarahbara Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    i suggest using the search function on cc, as there are threads upon threads about the neighborhood and safety of UChicago, etc.
  • emiliaemilia Registered User Posts: 204 Junior Member
    As a native Chicagoan (northwest sider), I have to say that although the U. of C. campus is located in a nice urban setting, if you go a few blocks in any direction you begin to wander into not-so-nice neighborhoods (bars on the doors and windows and such). I'd be quite leery of wandering in the streets surrounding the campus after dark.
  • newmassdadnewmassdad Registered User Posts: 3,848 Senior Member

    I suggest you break out of your safety zone and take a drive down to the south side of Chicago. You are sadly mistaken and terribly outdated in your comments.

    I just returned from three days in Hyde Park, on business at U. Chi. I stayed in the Quadrangle Club, right down the street from the library, and walked all over the area, day and night. I saw NOTHING threatening, not even remotely. Compared to when I lived there 24 years ago, there is no comparison. All the way north to 47th street is completely gentrified (yuppified maybe?). North of 47th to the loop is being quickly redeveloped, too. Who do you think can afford $300 thousand and up townhouses? Not lowlife. South to 67 is taking off with redevelopment, too. West of Cottege Grove is still a problem in some parts, but, except for the part SW of the campus, is changing quickly, too.

    It is a new world there. You do not see burgler bars. You do not see security fences. You do not see stores that close early with heavy duty security shutters. You DO see families everywhere. And college kids.
  • emiliaemilia Registered User Posts: 204 Junior Member
    Without taking offense at that rather rude reply, I'll just say that I feel much safer living on the NW side than on the South Side.

    I've been to U. of C. on several occassions, and although the campus is nice and relatively safe, I would not feel comfortable as a young woman wandering the streets around the campus alone at night. Yes, that area of Chicago is a goldmine in real estate and of course being developed to some extent, but the fact remains that Hyde Park isn't incredibly safe and a far cry from the shining model of one of America's urban centers.

    From living in Chicago for the past seventeen consecutive years, I can with much certainty say that it's been consistently ubiquitious to flip on the local news on WFLD and such and hear about assaults, armed robberies, rapes, drive-by shootings, etc. all taking place on the South Side (although the Lefkow murders hit much closer to home, those cases are much more isolated). So the Hyde Park neighborhood may indeed be changing, but in the eyes of a lifelong Chicagoan, it's not an attractive utopia even with expensive housing and rebuilding projects. If you're looking for an Illinoisian, totally-non-ghettofied utopia, try the North suburbs.
  • KosukeKosuke Registered User Posts: 763 Member
    the roads are really narrow. hard to drive around.
  • newmassdadnewmassdad Registered User Posts: 3,848 Senior Member

    I apologize for the rudeness, but it DOES bother me that folks draw conclusions based on news reports or superficial impressions. As a resident for 17 years, you of all posters here should know how much Chicago is a city of blocks and neighborhoods. To conclude from a news report that a problem on the "south side" means a problem near Hyde Park is as fair as saying that the recent Edgewater murders were on the "north side" so folks in Lincoln Park should worry (others, they are quite a distance apart...).

    Finally, we're not talking about attactive utopia, we're talking about a safe neighborhood for college kids. The south side, for those of us out of college, has many drawbacks - lack of cute cafes, limited shopping, no botique clothing stores and so forth. No argument there. But that is not what we are talking about here.
  • xbisoubisouxxbisoubisoux Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    don't listen to the news guys, if I watched that stuff all the time I would never leave my room, they purposely make the whole world sound like a terrible place when its really not...Kosuke-you drive? in chicago?
  • SarahbaraSarahbara Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    Though from everything I've heard from alumni UChicago is a much safer environment nowadays, I have to second Emilia's opinion that the South Side is not the pinnacle of safety. It is silly to downplay issues of safety for the sake of seeming wordly or somehow openminded. No one is talking about "judgements" or "superficiality." We're talking about safety. As a young woman, one does not take chances, no matter how altruistic one thinks one is. I walked from 49th st. to 57th st. two weeks ago, with a group of three other females in the late afternoon, and I walked through questionable areas where I did not feel safe, neither did my friends, and we were quite isolated. I also read the Chicago Maroon that day and read about a series of muggings taking place in broad daylight around the school itself, right in Hyde Park. None of this is to say that one can't live safely and comfortably in Hyde Park if one acts safely and sensibly. However, false sanguinity is frankly dangerous. I live in NYC, thus I understand an urban area well. Glibness about safety has no place.
  • xbisoubisouxxbisoubisoux Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    as in any big city the impotant thing is to be aware of your surroundings and not to portray yourself as a victim...if you walk around totally distracted or confused looking like an easy target the likelyhood of your getting mugged or attacked goes way way up...If you use your common sense you're going to be pretty safe anywhere
  • TheCityTheCity Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    I remember driving to UofC to pick up a friend when i was in chicago two years ago, didnt seem threatening at all
  • SarahbaraSarahbara Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    I suggest looking at idad's comments on safety in the UChicago atmosphere thread, as they are both considerate and knowledgeable, without being hysterical.
  • MerryXmasMerryXmas Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    The University of Chicago campus is pretty much like other urban campuses (Yale, Columbia, Penn) in being basically safe but with occasional bad occurences. The campus police force is everywhere and generally seems quite competent.

    That said, crime stories are real.

    I personally knew a Chicago student (ca. 1980) who was shot in the back on campus when he refused to get out of his car because he probably correctly assumed that two female students in the car would be kidnapped. His injuries were not too serious, though he had to wait several hours in the U. Chicago emergency room to be treated. The next day, one of the University's highest officials told the student's father, who was a chief of surgery at the hospital, that he was sorry for the delay, that they "didn't know that he was anybody," that they thought he was just an ordinary student. Appalled, the father said that he replied, "Oh, you didn't know he was anybody, just a student shot on campus!!!"

    I live on the University of Chicago campus and have for many years. About 9 years ago, two fairly young kids pulled a knife on my wife and daughter in the kiddie park on 58th Street at the UC Laboratory grade schools, trying to rob my wife. My wife grabbed my daughter and scurried away.

    A couple of times several years ago, gangs were able to rent International House (a campus building) for huge gang parties and sort of took over a block on campus for the night until 2am, marking gang symbols on street signs and vandalizing cars, including mine. The gang members were too numerous and strong those nights to be rousted by the ever-present campus police, who just tried to make sure that things didn't get too far out of hand. The gang-marked street signs were replaced almost immediately.

    When I used to ride my bike along the lakefront many years ago, I was threatened with death twice and had stones thrown at me. And a professor who later became Provost was badly beaten while riding on the lake four miles north of campus.

    Nonetheless, I choose to live here and don't plan to move when my graduate studies are finished.

    I drive south of 61st St. a lot and rarely feel unsafe. It is safer than some campuses and less safe than others. While I would send my daughter to Chicago and hope that she has that choice, I would feel safer if she went to a college in a small town (eg, Carleton, Grinnell), if safety were the only consideration.

    Intellectually, the University of Chicago is every bit as special as its reputation--even more so. When I visit other good schools--Yale, Virginia, Michigan, Texas--I am always struck by how much more intellectual Chicago is than these schools.
  • plushenkoplushenko Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    When I visited, I did feel really safe. There are those Emergency Phonelines (forget what they are really called) EVERYWHERE!! You should check it out yourself! Very nice campus indeed!
This discussion has been closed.