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Written by Lem Atanga McCormick
Along with the congeniality of the townsfolk, Amherst College has a certain homey atmosphere that drives away thoughts of crime. An alarming number of students feel comfortable leaving their room doors unlocked. Even still, cases of theft are rare. Both the College and the students are quite aware of maintaining a high level of security. Dorm front doors can only be opened with a personal code that only students and custodians possess. Amherst College campus police patrol regularly during the day and night. Campus police also offer rides back to dorms at night to people who request them. At big parties on campus, fellow students work security and are very serious about their job of keeping things from getting out of hand. Most people will tell you that Amherst is much safer than their hometown, and hardly anyone is afraid to walk alone at night when they’re within the boundaries of the College.
As for the town outside of the College, the main streets are usually heavily populated at night with UMass students and Amherst locals, so it feels safe. This feeling of safety, however, does not expand to the town of Amherst in general, as many students feel timid about walking the many unlit streets that sprawl further and further from the College and into the grasslands. At UMass—a much bigger school—crime is a more pressing problem than at Amherst College. All of this leads people to think of Amherst as a kind of safe haven. Step out of the bubble at your own risk! Just kidding.
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