The recent rise in crime in Baltimore, including the Charles Village area, has become an issue affecting Hopkins students and affiliates over the past few months.
There have been 10 robberies reported since the beginning of the semester, as opposed to six and seven total in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
This trend coincides with the increase in crime in Baltimore city as a whole. In May, The Baltimore Sun reported that across the city robberies were up 17 percent from last year.
We are heartened to hear from both Hopkins administration and the Charles Village Civic Association are working together on securing our community, and appreciate these efforts to increase safety and decrease crime. That said, further work needs to be done, and this work walks a fine line between securing students and building a rift between us and the residents who live in the community. We cannot go down a path where someone who is not a student is treated as a suspect.
Over the past few years, student housing has become less integrated with local communities. Upperclassmen housing is now concentrated in certain areas of Charles Village, pulling students out of the row houses on N. Calvert St. or Guilford Ave. and into high rise apartments. This has severed previous ties students have had with the community.
If security is increased around campus, we believe Hopkins must ensure community residents are afforded just as much protection as students. Otherwise, it can become something that estranges us from the community we live in.
We encourage the administration to implement measures that ensure the entirety of Charles Village can feel safe, while maintaining and building the relationship students have with the community.
Despite this rise in crime, we cannot let this be an excuse to strengthen our “Hopkins bubble.” Continue to explore the community. Talk to your neighbors. Through engagement, we can help make our environment a more trusting and safe place.