After living on the SU Hill for five decades, Harry Lewis has seen the neighborhood evolve from a place for families into a place for college students. On Sunday morning, two female students were robbed on Ostrom Avenue, with that in mind, Lewis says the change has not been for the better.
"The crime has gone up in the area," Lewis, who has lived at the same house on the SU Hill for 53 years, says. "Basically the reason for it is the unknowingness of the people living in the area now...the younger people living in the area."
Lewis says since most of the houses are now rentals, students live in them just temporarily during the school year, bringing a different dynamic to the neighborhood than years ago. Students walking back to their residences late at night have become targets, something former student Sarah Demola, SU Class of 2007, experienced while she was a student.
Demola says she was walking home with some friends one night when they saw a group of men following at a distance.
"We kind of shifted across the street, and then we shifted back, and they shifted with us both times," Demola says. "At that point we knew we were being followed."
Demola says because she experienced similar incidents as a student, and the latest Ostrom Ave incident does not surprise her. Demola, now a teacher at the University, and Lewis say education is key, and not just education in the classroom.
"It's all in education, and it happens, I hate to say it but it happens every year, the newer people coming in, it's an educational process," Lewis says.
By education, Lewis means making sure students, especially newer students, know that while they are in Syracuse, they need to watch out for themselves and their property.