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Q: I’ve been invited to a couple NSO parties (via Facebook). The thing is, they’re not on campus. One’s on Chancellor St. and the other isn’t too far away. I’m looking for a good time and stuff, but is it really safe to venture into West Philly?
A: Hey there! First of all, we’re glad to hear you’re looking for a good time. We are too, so call us if you’re feeling frisky.
Never be afraid to venture off campus, especially if it’s to the Theos party on Chancellor (which is the party to which we assume you’re referring). In fact, the majority of Penn-centric nightlife takes place off campus. The area west of where you sleep and go to classes is home to everything from frat houses to dive bars to fancy restaurants. Though the term “off campus” may initially feel scary on your fresh meat tongue, there’s nothing to fear. The Penn Police, the University’s own private force of badass/pretty cool cops (the second largest university security force in the nation) have you covered.
Penn Police’s jurisdiction extends from 30th St. to 43 St. (east/west) and from Market St. to Baltimore Ave. (north/south). Consider this the Penn bubble, and therefore, generally very safe. If you’re ever feeling at all uneasy though, you can always call 215-898-WALK to get a walking escort who’ll take you wherever you need to go. As an added bonus, they’re often great conversationalists, and they’ll be happy to accompany you on your travels, however drunk, giggly, or bizarrely-clad you may be (things get a little weird here around Halloween). You’ll get a more comprehensive overview of this and other Penn safety services during NSO.
Bottom line – Philly is a city, and as in any city, you should always keep your wits about you. Traveling alone late at night isn’t ideal, but trust us – it’s not something you’ll have to worry about during NSO. We suggest you focus your NSO party anxiety on matters like “how tight is too tight?” and “what if they don’t play my song?” Leave the safety stuff to the pros.
See our answers to more of your questions here.