Ruggles’ strong campus presence brings safety concerns


Elisa Figueras

A woman and two children were found dead outside Ruggles Station.

Alexis Santoro, news correspondent

Ruggles Station has been a part of Northeastern’s campus since 1987, giving students and faculty a connection to the rest of Boston and beyond. Over the past decade, Ruggles has become a bridge to connect student housing to the rest of campus.

As one of the most active MBTA stations, Ruggles’ daytime foot traffic is significant, according to the Northeastern University Police Department, or NUPD. At night, with a limited train schedule, Ruggles can be nearly deserted. 

Kirsten Mallon, a third-year biology major, said she finds this unsettling.

“There are always, constantly people in Ruggles during the day, but at night it is sometimes a little sketchy,” Mallon said. 

Students said they are concerned about walking through Ruggles at night after studying or going to class. While NUPD offers tools to assist students, many students feel that seeing more police officers in Ruggles would make them feel more comfortable. 

Others are skeptical about the station’s reputation.

“People told me multiple times to use the bridge and avoid Ruggles because it could be dangerous,” said Ellie Drillich, a first-year biology student. “I have seen some suspicious activity, but overall I have not felt that I was in danger.” 

NUPD Sergeant John Farrell said students tend to exaggerate the dangers of Ruggles. 

[Ruggles is] no different than dangers [students] may encounter at another T station or out and about on campus or any Boston street. Awareness of your surroundings is the key to your safety,” Farrell said.

While some students feel Ruggles is not as dangerous as it is described to be, they do have some concerns about the security presence. “I occasionally see police, but there is not a heavy presence,” Drillich said. 

For some students, particularly those who live in International Village, going through Ruggles is almost unavoidable. Many have gotten used to walking through the station, trying to remain focused on their surroundings and avoiding looking down at their phone or using headphones. 

“If you mind your own business, you’ll be fine,” said Harrison Sims, a first-year computer science major. 

NUPD has certain protocols in place to ease the fears of any of the students who might be nervous in Ruggles, like the SafeZone app, which shares student’s exact location with the police at the press of a button.

“I don’t really ever see any police there, which usually wouldn’t concern me. However, I know a lot of people have voiced concerns about this and it is somewhat alarming … If so many people have complaints about it, then why is nothing being done?” said Sofia Tanoglu, a fifth-year mechanical engineering major.