UH reacts to violence
Students who did not already know of Saturday’s tragic campus slaying returned to classes Monday from their weekend migration.’
Those who knew about the random killing of an unidentified man outside Hofheinz Pavilion already felt the way others would come to feel as they learned the news – unsafe.
‘They should increase security here. I know they try, but they need to put more police on the roads,’ industrial engineering M.S. candidate Benjamin Nsude said.
The University is increasing security, effective Saturday, with a force of 33 patrol officers and 12 administrative members of UH Police committed to amplifying campus security. Seven lieutenants will alternate a patrol shift and all 52 officers will work six days a week.
Police Chief Malcolm Davis said UHPD has increased foot and bike patrols to increase visibility of blue uniformed police.
Davis said he understands students will be more apt to report any behavior they think is suspicious. Campus police welcome the influx of alerts and hope to return the students to feeling protected.
‘There is nothing illegal about being suspicious. The force will watch the suspicious person until they leave or commit a crime,’ Davis said. ‘If I get 100 calls a day, the spike in calls is something I hope will happen.’
Still, the shock from such a crime will not easily subside.
‘This is probably by far one of the worst things I’ve heard about on campus,’ theater freshman Melanie Burke said. ‘To be killed like that – it doesn’t make me feel good about being here. Do I want stay here four years? I don’t know.’
Theater freshman Greg Cote said he has never been so close to a crime like this and is at a loss for comforting solutions.
‘It really does put into perspective that there are some spots around here that it’s really not safe to be by yourself at night,’ Cote said.
UHPD is trying to eliminate those spots. It has divided the campus into four continuous beats and has put cars on patrol of Scott Street and Cullen Blvd.
These steps have been taken to satisfy students like accounting M.S. candidate Ni Zhang, who said she wanted to see more police on campus, but the events of the weekend are far from out of mind.
‘I still can’t figure out why this happened. I don’t want my family to know about this because they would worry about me,’ Zhang said.