Campus safety tested

AT ISSUE: What was your reaction to the campus homicide announcement Saturday?

Lack of visual police presence on campus is cause for worry

Anousheh Kehar

The unfortunate incident presents an irony – being faced with a barbaric act on the road to a brighter future.

The history of crime on our campus shows those enrolled and employed by the institution are rarely held accountable for campus crime. It is through unnecessary or even uninvited traffic that seems to be creating havoc. Thus, we could begin with the matter of regulating loitering.

It is difficult to draw a line on campus perimeters when our neighbors play a vital role. Hence, we cannot leave them to their own devices. It becomes necessary to include a surrounding radius in the surveillance.

Going over a mental checklist of safety tips every time we walk from one building to the next on campus is not a fostering environment nor is it likely. We receive cautionary messages providing students with safety tips, but it is not enough.

A future tragedy could strike with more severity. We do not need to wait. Prioritizing campus safety with an overhaul of enforcement in the initial stages should not be questioned. This would encompass more than the normal business hours and span over the entire week.

Given another task to undertake, I do not doubt that the UH Department of Public Safety would similarly perform beyond par. With actions from the authority and ambitious student involvement, this is hopefully just another hurdle to surmount.

Anousheh Kehar can be reached at [email protected]

UH protecting students well despite unsafe neighborhood

Joshua Brown

A homeless man who was sleeping in a bus stop near Hofheinz Pavilion was shot to death early Saturday morning.

Shortly after the incident, Carl Carlucci, Vice President and Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance for the UH System, sent out a campus-wide e-mail reassuring the students and faculty that their campus is safe.

I believe Carlucci. I believe our campus is safe. Carlucci and other administrators are doing the best they can to protect students and faculty. They have a 24-hour police force on campus, emergency call boxes around every corner and a plethora of security cameras.

The e-mail itself is a sign that UH has made our safety a top priority.Instead of covering up the homicide and keeping everything ‘hush-hush,’ the administrators reacted immediately. So quickly, in fact, that I was not even aware of the shooting until I read the e-mail.

However, I also recognize that our campus is surrounded by a low-income area and that these areas statistically have more crime. I will never take night classes at UH because I do not want to walk across the parking lot at night. I would never travel to that area of Houston unless I had to.

If we ignore our surroundings, they become even more dangerous. We must be alert and aware in order to be safe not just at school, but everywhere.

Joshua Brown is an undeclared freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

Senseless murder on campus leaves huge question unanswered

Matthew Keever

Having grown up in a conservative household in Texas, with Fox News as my nightly political spoon-feeding, I’ve never questioned it. Part of growing up in Houston, however, is exposure to crime.

Every city has crime and due to our huge size, we have a lot. Being raised in the Meyerland area, however, crime never seemed ‘real’ to me.

Not until the middle of my high school career did crime become evident to me. A shooting at a park around the corner from my house opened my eyes.

Since then I’ve been a bit more on my guard, careful not to put myself in situations I perceive as potentially dangerous. But when I saw the picture of a man lying sprawled under a bus stop dead, my perspective changed even more.

This is my city. This is my campus. This is my home. This is real.

In an attempt to rationalize this random act of violence in my mind, I decided a person must have been walking by, was harassed by a homeless man, became frightened, and reacted, albeit poorly, but reacted nonetheless. But what I found out was the victim was asleep on the bench at the bus stop. Then without reason, someone put a bullet in his head. The question remains: why?

There seems to be no causality here. Without causality, no solution exists. All we can do is be careful and keep each other safe.

Matthew Keever is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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