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  1. #1
    aucsxm is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Safety on the island

    The so-called "Friendly Island" of St. Maarten is not as advertised! After spending some time on the island, I have come to learn that the local islanders are far from accomodating and hospitalbe. Not only are many of them rude (of course, there are exceptions - albeit, very FEW!), but they are also violent.

    The island is not nearly as safe as prospective students are led to believe. There have been 2 car-jackings within the past month alone at gunpoint and knife-point! Innumerable others have been mugged, robbed, physically assaulted, and have had their cars/scooters stolen. Police are either apathetic or simply too lazy or understaffed to patrol the area around the medical school. I have not seen one police car within the vicinity of the school in months, even after the crimes. What makes matters even worse for the medical students is that the Locals seem to think that all of the students are wealthy and carry a lot of money - hence, they become their prime targets!

    I must say, however, that the school itself is well guarded and the security staff is extremely vigilant. However, no students spend their entire days and nights on campus and are therefore subject to whatever dangers that may greet them beyond the school gates.

    This is an important consideration for any students looking into the Caribbean schools. I am sure St. Maarten is not the only island with such problems, but I can only speak from my personal experience.
    Last edited by aucsxm; 01-17-2006 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #101
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    islandwife is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Scott -

    aucsxm is not the only one here concerned. The person who was attacked is known by the entire student body and their upstanding reputation precedes them. The identity took a while to circulate, and once it did, this was a big cause for alarm because this is certainly a wise person who doesn't look for trouble in any way.
    I know it seems like we are panicking, and in truth a lot of the females who are living solo truly are. Understandably so! If I were living alone I would get a roommate - maybe some trustworthy guy over 6'6" who doesn't go out much. Some of the spouses who are home alone so much and out in the community 24 hours a day are also unnerved by this to say the least. There have been more incidents than the attack we are discussing here, but these crimes either went unreported or weren't brought up here for a variety of reasons.
    "When you educate a man beyond his intelligence, you create a menace to society."

  3. #102
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    Scott1981 is offline Super Moderator 10511 points
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    ok, i stand corrected.

    the stun guns are actually cheaper than i thought. of particularlly good use on sxm is the cell phone stun gun since we are still shady on the legality of them on the dutch side. this way, it only looks like a cell phone.

    http://www.betterhomesecurity.com/~S...php?ref=stgedl
    Last edited by Scott1981; 02-26-2006 at 08:04 AM.
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  4. #103
    beach bum is offline Member
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    you can also but almost anything in your checked baggage. It'll get scanned in the US, but as long as it's not explosives or a gun, the US doesn't care. SXM doesn't check. If they did, doubt they'd notice, if they did, doubt they'd get off thier but to take it out of the bag..

    You really need to ask yourself at what point do you give up your family's safety because of ineffective ignorant laws that put your life solely in a police force that is unwilling or unable to help.

    The way I figure it, if you have to use it, it'll be worth the trouble you get in for it. And besides, it wasn't yours was it?? you just got lucky enough to take it from the guy who broke into your place..

  5. #104
    TheAlchemist is offline Member
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    HI all
    just to add my $0.02 again
    Personally, I don't really care what kind of crime occurs in detroit, miami, somalia, afghanistan or the moon. why are u comparing sxm to these other places where crime is OBVIOUSLY higher? the point is, we are here on the island, we are med students, we are a big bullseye to the local crime, and we are not secure even when in our own apartments apparantly. who cares what the hell is occuring somewhere else. what matters is what is occuring to AUC students here and NOW. its just plain stupid to keep saying "OH but its worse in other places". who the hell cares. damn. keep it on topic. this is a very serious issue.

    on another note, in my 14+ months on the island, I have to say this notion of SXM being the 'friendly island' is just plain **. there are wonderful local people here of course that I have met (the shawarma guys), but by and large I have time and time again had confrontational, rude, arrogant behavior towards me by the locals. I don't cause trouble, always try to keep a smile when dealing with locals, polite to them, don't really go out except to eat, don't cause trouble, blah blah blah. so why am I having to deal with this kind of behavior from the locals when I DO go out? after talking to some african-american med students and my own personal experience, my conclusion is its because I am NOT BLACK (I'm not white either), I am a med student, and I am an american. Why do I consistently get this kind of ** from them. well that my opinion. after this experience, I can't wait to get home to the (g-d bless) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. i'm just sick of the caribbean in general and the people's attitudes. i sure as hell don't plan on coming back to the caribbean, even though it's got some beautiful beaches. well guess what, there are beautiful beaches in the states, europe, and many other places.
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  6. #105
    Tommyboy is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thinking about coming to AUC. Is staying in the dorms safer than living off campus? Also posted this in AUC dorms.
    Thanks

  7. #106
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    DRDRWMD is offline Elite Member 515 points
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    It is relatively easy to get pepper spray on the french side. It is a prudent thing to carry, plus I have set it off by accident and although I was not happy with the experience, I can see how it can buy a person time to escape a situation. I keep it in my car, in the drawer next to my bed, and when I go running (mainly for crazed stray dogs that think I am a car and chase me). Also pepper spray will not kill someone or put them into cardiac arrest (which can land the person defending themselves a new career in a Curasao prison).

  8. #107
    Laurie S is offline Senior Member
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    need attitudes?

    Just curious.....have the attitudes on the islands intensified after the lastest with the Natalie Holloway case and U.S. action?

    Isn't this SXM's high season, when the crime is lower due to more available work from the increased tourism?

    Whoops, heading should read "NEW" attitudes, not need attitudes.
    Last edited by Laurie S; 02-26-2006 at 09:45 AM.

  9. #108
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    swimguy23 is offline Elite Member 516 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexSxm
    Clarifying details, it happened in the early am hours! Had the student been out parting and just stumbled in an hour or so before the incident? No, the student had been home since early evening studying for up coming test! Only to awoken by someone breaking into their place, then being beaten and having items stolen. For those of you who are no longer on the island your rational for the extreme spike in not just crimes but violent crimes, continues to baffle me. In case you can't infer from reading this board let me clear things up for you. Things are changing, and not for the better! It is not as safe here as it was six months ago or a year ago.
    how would you know if things are changing or if some incidents have been plain bad luck????? you cant really form your opinion if you wont listen to people who were there for 2 years and are basing your opinion on the island changing on only a few months.....things may be getting worse or it might just be a spike, i dont know.....but i would still feel safer bein on st maarten than leavin the hospital in brooklyn late at night
    Last edited by swimguy23; 02-26-2006 at 09:51 AM.
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  10. #109
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    ChanceCount is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie S
    Just curious.....have the attitudes on the islands intensified after the lastest with the Natalie Holloway case and U.S. action?

    Isn't this SXM's high season, when the crime is lower due to more available work from the increased tourism?

    Whoops, heading should read "NEW" attitudes, not need attitudes.
    The attitudes don't seem any different. Locals still don't seem to like Americans much. It's kind of funny that they would dislike the people that bring all the money to this stupid island.

    It would be interesting to see the percentage of actual students that are affected by violent crime here on the island. So far, I've heard of a couple of incidents through the grapevine, but apparently, all of these are shrouded in secrecy. The administration won't discuss details, and neither will students or victims. I can't understand why people won't give out details. I know if I was robbed, I would tell everyone I know so that other students could take some measures to prevent anything from happening. But until there is anything concrete, all of this is as easy to dismiss as any of the other thousands of rumors that circulate here.

    All I know for certain is that I have been as careless as one could possibly be here, and I've never had a problem with crime.

    If any of this is true, I hope maybe SGA and the administration can focus their efforts in a better direction than ordering whistles, which are absolutely useless.

  11. #110
    TexSxm is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swimguy23
    how would you know if things are changing or if some incidents have been plain bad luck????? you cant really form your opinion if you wont listen to people who were there for 2 years and are basing your opinion on the island changing on only a few months
    Don't ever ASSUME anything, just because you look at someone's number of post and see that they are a "newbie" only means that a person has not posted on this board very often, not that they have not been on this island for longer than a few months! You ask me how I know, I know because I have lived here for over a year!!! So, yes, I have lived here long enough to know that this island is not as safe as it was last year, or even last month! The question is how do you know? You NO longer live here! And frankly I don't care where you feel safer to live, you aren't here, so you really have no idea the true realm of what is going on here, only what you read on this board.
    Last edited by TexSxm; 02-26-2006 at 10:03 AM.

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