A number of rising juniors in Davenport College have voiced concerns regarding their annexed housing next year on Park Street, saying they would feel safer if they lived in on-campus housing.
This year, annexed Davenport students will live in the Harrison Court Apartments at 210 Park St., across the street from Pierson College. In an e-mail to students on Monday, Davenport Dean Craig Harwood said 12 students volunteered for annex housing, while nine were forced to live outside the college after last week’s room draw.
Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld said the number of annexed students is lower than was anticipated. But since the room draw, some displaced students have questioned the safety of the apartment complex and the surrounding neighborhood.
Jennifer Laaser ’08, who did not volunteer for annex housing, said she is not worried about living in the apartment complex itself, but is concerned about the lack of nighttime lighting and activity on Park Street. She said she and others have met with Harwood to discuss their worries, but she does not think a solution will be reached in time to change housing arrangements for next year.
“To me, as a 19-year-old female often walking alone, it does not feel safe at all,” Laaser said. “[Dean Harwood] has been very good about making a good-faith effort to make alternate arrangements, [but] I get the impression that this is really out of his control.”
Schottenfeld said that while he understands the security concerns of some students, with whom he intends to meet, he thinks the area has become safer in recent months due to increased patrols and improved lighting.
“I think it is important to note that the University and police have taken the security issues quite seriously,” Schottenfeld said. “They have done an enormous amount to make things safe.”
Harrison Court was used by Davenport as an annex building until two years ago, when displaced students began living in additional housing that became available in Welch Hall on Old Campus. Schottenfeld said the Park Street housing complex was popular among Davenport students in the past, and he thinks current students may be worried because they are not as familiar with the location.
“Three years ago, there were a number of people who were really looking forward to the annexed housing,” Schottenfeld said. “This is actually really convenient for Davenport students, and historically, people have really liked it there.”
While some students said they think the Park Street neighborhood is unsafe, others said they think it is a good opportunity to live off campus and still be near their residential college.
Jordan Schnaps ’08, who volunteered for the Park Street housing, said he thinks the building itself is secure. While any increased security is always beneficial, he said he thinks the area is well monitored by the police, citing the Yale Police Department station nearby on Edgewood Avenue.
“It seems very safe to me,” Schnaps said. “You cannot get in unless you know someone inside the building, whereas anyone on the street can pretty easily enter the residential colleges.”
Yale Police Department representatives could not be reached for comment Monday night.