The un-gated community of The Grove

Residents seek consistent security

Published by James Cressman, Date: February 19, 2024
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The entrance security gate at The Grove Apartments in Slippery Rock, pa
The security gate at The Grove Apartments in Slippery Rock, pa

The Grove Apartments in Slippery Rock, Pa. will be refurbishing the complex’s main gate.  

Residents were alerted on Feb. 9 via social media to “keep an eye out for an email next week about gate operations.” Further instructions include to contact the main office if they need a reminder of their gate code or a replacement key. 

Surveyed residents

The Rocket conducted a survey among Slippery Rock University (SRU) students who reside at The Grove. For the requested anonymity of respondents, many will be referred to as resident ‘x.’  

Survey respondents were asked if they believed residential safety was a primary concern for the apartment complex, 40% of the 30 surveyed answered with unsure. 

“Security has gone downhill in the past years. Three years ago, I felt like the security was actually there to help us and now it seems they [security] are just there for a paycheck.” Resident A said. 

Many SRU students who do not reside at The Grove, know of the apartments for its “yard parties.”  

These parties can grow from the exterior of one specific apartment to the entirety of the outdoor area of The Grove. This makes it difficult to safely drive in or out of the complex because of the large amount of people.  

History of crime at The Grove

One resident spoke about coming home from a university organization meeting to two men throwing cans at their car.  

Some of these parties can get a lot more out of hand than just cans, Resident B wrote that there have been numerous incidents of weapons such as guns being pulled.  

In 2021, The Rocket reported on Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) responding to a call of shots fired. A guest visiting The Grove attempted to show off his gun when it discharged as he removed it from his pocket.  

The bullet traveled through the floor of a second-floor apartment and embedded into the living room of the first-floor apartment. 

Prior to being arrested by PSP, the guest fled the scene on foot while being pursued by The Grove security. 

In 2022, the Rocket reported on an accident in which one person was life-flighted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) after falling from a third-floor balcony.   

The Rocket spoke with Resident C, who recounted a time during a Grove “yard party” where several partygoers got into a fight and security was nowhere around. 

“Two guys at the party attempted to step in and stop the fight because security wasn’t nearby.” Resident C said. 

Not long after they moved into the complex, they attended a party with their roommate. A guy at the party continued to make advances on Resident C’s roommate and wouldn’t take no for an answer. The situation made the pair uneasy but they were thankful nothing serious happened.  

The Rocket previously reported on a stabbing taking place on Jan 15. The incident occurred the day before the start of the spring semester.  

That incident was cause for concern for many residents, with one indicating that the current security offered by the complex was not good enough for the situation. Another resident believed that not much could’ve been done to prevent the situation as it had unfolded.  

Un-gated sense of security

Some have taken issue with the advertisement of The Grove as a gated apartment complex, which gives residents a measure of comfort. 

A common theme among incidents occurring at The Grove is that in many of these incidents, the individual involved is not a resident of the apartments or a student at SRU. 

Karlie Kremling, who has been a resident for three semesters, says that she heard a stigma when first moving into the complex. 

“I always heard that a lot of the incidents that happened at The Grove were people from outside the area who didn’t go to SRU.” Kremling said.  

For Kremling and her roommates, their experience has not been all bad. Kremling could only name one instance in which they had a problem. 

“When I first moved in, we had neighbors next door who were having a party, and they were smashing bottles outside the apartment and throwing them off the balcony.” Kremling said. 

Kremling, who has a cat, became concerned about neighboring pets. 

“We get to wear shoes, but there was a dog in the apartment below who had to walk through that area to go to the bathroom.”  

When talking about the recent stabbing, Kremling was unaware that the instigating party was a resident. 

“That actually is cause for concern, I was not previously aware of that.” Kremling said.  

Forty-nine percent of respondents to The Rocket’s poll indicated that since the most recent incident, The Grove failed to communicate safety protocols to residents of the complex. 

A common response among respondents was that The Grove should offer better security both on weekdays and weekends. 

“There are way too many incidents happening to not have security all the time.” One resident wrote as a response to the survey.  

Some residents believe fixing the security gate isn’t the end-all be-all answer. Resident D believes that if people are going to do bad things, they’ll do them regardless of a security gate. 

According to an employee answering the phone in the main office, The Grove offers internal security for its residents at night and external security on the weekends.   

Each resident is allotted two guests per day. Guests can request access to the complex by driving to the gate and typing in the resident code. This will prompt a call to the resident’s phone which will give them the option to allow the guest entrance or not. 

Kremling believes The Grove could create a better guest process, especially for the residents who do not cause problems.  

“I’ve had my siblings come to see me and they weren’t allowed entrance because there was more than two of them.” Kremling said.  

Each of the residents interviewed agreed that The Grove’s amenities were all things that they loved about living at the complex.  

The Grove amenities include a pool, volleyball court, basketball court and firepit.  

The Rocket contacted Kevin Sealey, the Director of Operations for the Cardinal Group, which is the company that owns The Grove Apartments. Sealey could not be reached for comment prior to the article’s publication.  

At the date of publication, the only security gate in operation was the gate exiting the complex.

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James is a senior Strategic Communication and Media major with concentrations in digital media production and multimedia journalism. He also minors in film & media studies. James serves as the News Editor at The Rocket and President of Lambda Pi Eta: the National Communication Association’s Honor Society. James is a movie enthusiast, a “Star Wars” fanatic and a fan of all things comedy. James previously served as the President of WSRU-TV (2022-2024).

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