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How Safe Is CUNY Hunter College


You might not know it, but CUNY Hunter College was originally founded in 1870 as a women’s college making it one of the oldest public colleges in the United States. The school’s location in Manhattan’s Upper East Side is far removed from the rural schools we typically cover. Tree laden greens and intimate living quarters are traded for bustling traffic and tall buildings. There’s no denying it. New York City doesn’t fare well on statistics pages when it comes to crime.

You might be wondering just how safe well studied Hawks are at Hunter. Surprisingly, crime is almost non existent here among students. How’s that for shaking up the plot? If you’re considering accepting your offer to this school that’s educated many creative minds in the liberal arts and sciences, read on to discover why you have nothing to worry about on the safety front (bad professors are a different story, though).

Scanning the campus map, you can see that Hunter actually has a fairly self-contained campus consisting of just several large buildings. Colleges that require students to walk a lot tend to have more crime especially at night when people walk alone or in unlit and unpatrolled areas. Thankfully, that’s not a problem here. At the very least you’ll just be crossing the street. Speaking of patrolling, the university is kept secure by CUNY Public Safety Officers who are designated by New York City. Students say that they have a very visible presence on the grounds, and that it’s nearly impossible to slip into any entrance without encountering them.

Conveniently, the 19th precinct of the New York City Police Department is located right next to the West Building. That has to be a major deterrent for criminals. Medical emergencies aren’t a problem either, as the college has an on campus medical unit that’s designated by the state.

Unlike the common blue light boxes that other campuses have, Hunter employs Talk-Alert boxes near elevators, stairways and bathrooms. With the simple push of a button you can request help in the event of an emergency. While blue light boxes are becoming a standard, they’re more useful on sprawling campuses. Thankfully, the Talk alert boxes are rarely used. Many students insist that they’ve never heard of an offense like sexual assault on campus. Undergraduates actually have to participate in sexual assault lectures there’s a strong sense of unity among students on this topic to begin with. It’s also rather hard for guests or strangers to sneak into buildings. Keycard access is required, and student IDS rarely go unchecked. The general sentiment is that Hunter College is among the more safety stringent schools under the CUNY system.

The worst offense you might encounter is burglary. Never leave your belongings unattended or under the watch of someone you don’t know, because they’ll more than likely be swiped (there are quite a few stories like this floating around on popular collegiate forums). Of course, the Big Apple at large does require a significant amount of street smarts. If you’re thinking about attending CUNY Hunter College, chances are you already have or have at least started to consider those precautionary habits.

The Upper East Side is regarded as one New York City’s safest areas, allowing Hawks to move within Hunter’s core buildings without a fuss. Perceptive, well placed guards and on campus medical help should give you piece of mind about your security. Petty theft aside, this is one of the more secure institutions in the city.

A former student told us about five things they wish they knew before attending Hunter College. Are you curious if anything safety-related made the cut? Find that out for yourself.

Ryan James is a ’13 alumnus of Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in writing and media. He currently works as a copywriter for a Fortune 500 e-commerce corporation based in Columbus, OH.

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