In the last five years, the Schine Student Center has been the scene of 100 thefts.
But it’s rarely thefts from a student’s personal belongings. In fact, the Department of Public Safety estimates that at least 80 percent of the thefts in the Schine Student Center are happening in the bookstore.
“As long as I have been here, it is not my understanding or recollection that we’ve had anybody robbed,” said Bridget Yule, the director of Student Centers and Programming Services at Syracuse University.
Because the Schine Student Center also has a popular store on campus, it’s typically the site of many thefts. It also means the store has its own security officers, and many thieves get caught, said SU’s chief law enforcement officer, Tony Callisto.
The top five locations on campus where thefts have occurred in the last five years include: Schine Student Center, Brewster, Boland & Brockway Halls, Shaw Hall, Watson Hall and Day Hall.
Unlike thefts in residence halls that are personal belongings, thefts from the Schine bookstore are usually retail items that pass through security detectors and employees watching.
“While there may be thefts that go unreported at other places or people never get caught, at the bookstore, if there’s a theft, chances are pretty good the security staff at the bookstore is going to be calling DPS reporting right away,” Callisto said.
In residence halls, Callisto said the thefts are typically “student-on-student” crimes. A majority of the times, the stolen items are valuable electronics like laptops and smartphones. But thefts are relatively uncommon in residence halls when compared to the amounts of alcohol violations — the most common incidents for dormitories.
George Athanas, an assistant director with the Office of Residence Life, said the top four dorms for incidents reported to DPS aren’t surprising, as they’re all at dorms with high freshman populations, with the exception of Watson Hall.
Brewster, Boland and Brockway Halls have all first-year students, while Day Hall and Shaw Hall both have about 90 percent first-year students, he said.
The office designates certain dorms as “first-year centers” to create a supportive environment for students adjusting to college life. A side effect of this concentration of freshmen is a high rate of alcohol violations, as DPS statistics show.
“Students are coming to college, experimenting with alcohol and often overconsuming as they’re considering their limits,” Athanas said. “We tend to see these as areas that have significant challenges with decision making.”
It’s a stark contrast with dorms like Lyons Hall, which has been all upperclassmen for the last three years, with an average population of 36 students. In the last two years, Lyons Hall has had zero incidents reported to DPS.
Overall, the number of alcohol violations in residence halls has decreased since 2010. Athanas said he believes it’s because of the BE Wise campaigns that encourage responsible drinking. He also believes the switch from “Alcohol.Edu” to “Think About It” has helped lower the number of incidents. Both BE Wise and Think About It started at SU in 2013.
Said Athanas: “I think it’s provided us an educational structure that’s been helpful, and I think it resonates with students.”
In the Feb. 26 story “Data from DPS’s crime logs show trends from 2010–14,” Brewster, Boland and Brockway Halls were drawn incorrectly. It is actually located on 401 Van Buren St. The Daily Orange regrets this error.”