UNH: University of No Heart?
October 7, 2008
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Last week, around 1:30 in the morning on Friday, Oct. 3, there was a shooting that occurred on campus near Forest Hills, around the intersection of Isadore and Tile. Two non-UNH individuals, aged 18 and 27, got into an altercation with a larger group of people who tried to rob them.
According to WHPD Officer Angel Moscato, “the two male victims were walking along Isadore Street. They were approached by a larger group of males. An altercation occurred. Shots were fired. The two male victims were struck. They ran over for safety to Tile Street.”
As of Friday night, both victims were in the hospital in stable condition. Police, so far, have made no arrests.
Around the time of the Virginia Tech massacre, the University of New Haven implemented a new text messaging system to alert students, staff, and faculty of emergency conditions. The last message sent on this system was on Feb. 22, 2008, to announce that UNH was closed due to wintry weather. On Friday, Oct. 3, with students walking around campus and going to and from Forest Hills, no text message was sent out warning them of a shooting and a potentially dangerous situation for these students.
Of course these things are rare in this area and will hopefully not happen again. But the fact is, there was no apology to students or parents-just notice that a mistake was made. Somebody high up thought that not implementing the system was the best route. According to multiple sources, the university felt that students didn’t need to be woken. Bull-to-the-freakin’-shit. There are always students up and about at all hours, and they need to know if they’re about to walk into a potentially deadly situation or not. As a student, I demand that whoever made this terrible decision make a public apology to my fellow students and myself.
Campus security is something that we all take for granted, and expect UNH to be way above par on. But on Saturday, as I was walking up towards the German Club with a few people, I saw someone-probably homeless-digging through the dumpster behind Botwinik. For something that I have now witnessed more than 10 times at UNH, I called CP to take care of this situation. When I walked back past the dumpster an officer had not yet arrived, but some custodians were walking towards the dumpster. “Oh good!” thought I. But much to my disappointment, the custodians said “hi” to the homeless man and went on their way.
There is a terribly unacceptable problem with this university when one day a shooting occurs on a location that is right next to our campus, and the next day people who are unauthorized to be on our campus are digging through our dumpsters. And on Family Day, too. I hope for the university’s sake that I was the only one to see this occurrence, and that no parents saw it. How embarrassing for our campus.
Practically every university has some sort of protection around it. At UNH, we pride ourselves-as we should-on a great Campus Police department. But in terms of actual physical protection, such as fences or a gate, there is nothing. My middle school had better protection.
It shouldn’t take a shooting to increase shuttle service to and from Forest Hills, but it did. Before something worse happens, let’s make the UNH more secure and put in some fences. We’re known for our top-notch police, our Criminal Justice program, and our safe campus. Let’s be known for treating our students in a way that will make them feel safe. Use the damn text messaging service, build us some fences, and actually do your jobs. Don’t only protect us, but make us feel protected as well.