Overall, Shippensburg is a highly monitored town.
Most residents are friendly and students seem to get along well enough.
Students and residents can walk through town at night without feeling unsafe or threatened as police are spread out patrolling the streets.
What happens, though, to the one area of Shippensburg that seems to contradict this safe haven concept? For those who are not aware of College Park’s connections to the university and town, the complex consists of student housing that is not affiliated with the university.
The apartments share a parking lot with the university housing at Stone Ridge Commons.
It is the same parking lot that reaches the fence that separates the university boundaries by the football field with the rest of the town.
These apartments are also not within the lines of Shippensburg Borough. These boundaries place the Commons in somewhat of a protection-free zone. I first learned of this boundary predicament when I called campus police when a party had gotten out of hand at the building next to the one in which I reside.
Those at the party had been screaming obscenities at students walking by for at least an hour.
They had been playing extremely loud music since that afternoon and had begun throwing glass bottles off of the two-story balcony onto the sidewalk and parking lot.
Once the partiers began throwing glass bottles, I decided the music and harassment had escalated too far.
I called campus police and asked what could be done. I was told they did not have jurisdiction at our apartments and was told to call local police.
Local police first asked where College Park was located, then informed me that they too, did not have jurisdiction here. I was told to call the Chambersburg barracks for the state police. The operator was also unaware of the Commons’ location and when she finally located College Park on a map, she informed me that they were also not allowed to respond to calls from our apartments. She transferred me to the Carlisle State Police Barracks.
By the time an operator answered the phone in Carlisle, the partiers on the balcony were throwing beer cans at the side of our building, including our windows. The operator had no idea where the apartments were located and when she finally found us on a map, she said that she would send an officer our way.
Though I did not see a vehicle come through the parking lot at all that night, and though the party blared on until 4 a.m., the party had become secondary in my mind.
What if the call I had made had been much more serious than an obnoxious party? Why do I often see campus police and town police conveniently driving in and out of College Park following students if they do not have jurisdiction here?
How can the police protect us if they are not even aware of the location of a huge student housing complex just off campus?
With so many forms of patrol in our town, there is no excuse for an area with only convenient protection.