Students Air Safety Concerns

November 9, 2010 Updated Nov 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

November 9, 2010 Updated Nov 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM EDT

AMHERST, NY (WKBW) -- Dozens of University at Buffalo students gather on the Amherst campus to air their concerns about off campus safety. City of Buffalo University District Councilwoman Bonnie Russell wanted to hear about student's experiences. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown sat in the audience to listen to all of the concerns.

Back in October, a group of area teens invaded a fraternity party near the UB Main Street campus. They began to assault and rob the party goers until police arrived and made arrests.

Brett Berman, the president of one of the local fraternities, says that crime is a problem in that area, "Students for many years, have lived in University Hights. We are continually exposed to the dangers, whether it be crime...violence...or thefts...muggings or anything."

Many area residents would like to see an increase in police presence in the area. Councilwoman Russell would like to see students living off campus begin to treat the neighborhood as their own. "One thing is to learn more about the city ordinances. What is required by law. What you can't do...the littering codes....things of that nature...parties. When the parties should be ending...starting and so forth...joining block clubs."

Berman says the students seem to be ready to step up and become more involved, "We are going to offer community service events. Maybe, cleaning graffiti or planting trees...just to show that there is structure in the area...there are unions in the area and people do care about the area. Hopefully that will deter crime."

Representatives of several University Hights block clubs were on hand to let the students know that they are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Another meeting is planned in the near future. It will involve city officials, laws enforcement, neighborhood groups and the students.