Local/State

First campus security forum held at NC State

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Campus safety is taking center stage at North Carolina State University.

UNC President Tom Ross announced plans for the campus security initiative this summer.

Monday's forum at Hunt Library comes amid the allegation that UNC-Chapel-Hill police were under-reporting campus crimes, and evidence that campus police at Elizabeth City State failed to investigate more than 100 alleged crimes.

The security forum was open to anyone who wanted to weigh in. Campus police chiefs from across the UNC system attended, along with community members and students.

NC State freshman Nicole Oschner got an education in the concern over campus crime.

"Walking at night is one thing I get nervous about...just walking around campus being in a big city," said the Clayton native.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson is co-chair of the special task force assigned to review whether UNC's 17 campuses are doing enough to respond and prevent sexual assaults and other violent crimes.

"It was a list of incidences...certainly we had a few very high-profile incidences across the system, but really it's a national issue," said Woodson.

Just last month, gunfire at North Carolina A&T ended with a student shot and the campus locked down on homecoming weekend.

Less than two weeks later, eyewitnesses at NC Central heard three to four gunshots near the campus in Durham. No one was hurt, but police locked down the school.

Earlier this year, one female student was grabbed outside Daniels Hall, and another told police she was sexually assaulted near the free expression tunnel.

"A lot of the wolf alerts that we get are about women being followed by men, and stuff like that, so it's definitely a concern," said NC State freshman Victoria Jeter.

Mandatory alcohol education for students, getting dorm advisors more involved, and increasing law enforcement were among the suggestions drawn up at the forum.

"My hope, is what you're gonna see and the reason we're doing this...is you're gonna see a university system that is safer," said Woodson.

Monday's forum was the first of what will be several in the coming months.

The recommendation will be compiled together in a final report for UNC System President Tom Ross and the Board of Governors.

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