President Kaplan Responds to Incidents on Campus

The Charger Bulletin

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by Steven Kaplan, UNH President

Dear UNH Community,

Over the past few days, there have been several incidents that occurred on the University of New Haven campus and in the surrounding neighborhood that I want to inform you about.

On Thursday, November 19, at approximately 10 p.m., a man, who is not a UNH student, was walking on Homeside Avenue near campus when he was held up at gunpoint.  UNH police sent out an E-2 Campus Alert Message to our students and established a perimeter around the area to help ensure safety on campus.  Evening shift officers were held over to provide extra security until the area was deemed to be safe.

On Sunday, November 22, at approximately 12:45 a.m., a fight broke out during an on-campus party held in the German Club.  A UNH police officer responding to the incident displayed a canister of pepper spray in an effort to regain order but did not use it on the crowd.  Unfortunately, when the officer was attempting to place the canister back in its holster, the pepper spray was accidentally dispersed.  No UNH students or other party guests were sprayed; however, a few individuals experienced some residual effect from the discharge.  Two UNH students were arrested by West Haven police as a result of this incident.

On Sunday, November 22, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a UNH student and a non-student were robbed in separate incidents on campus.  Both victims were immediately interviewed, and it was determined that they were robbed by the same individual, described as a black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black baseball cap and dark clothing.  UNH police and West Haven police responded and secured the campus.  In addition, two K-9 officers were called in, along with extra UNH police, and an E-2 Campus Alert Message was sent out.  Officers are reviewing the UNH surveillance video to help in the investigation.

To help prevent further occurrences such as these, the UNH police department has implemented the following actions:

•    increased the number of officers patrolling campus

•    hired private security guards to supplement the efforts of Campus Police

•    requested the city of West Haven police department to increase the number of patrols in the neighborhoods surrounding campus

In addition, I would like to remind you that it is important to be aware of the need to help insure your own safety, both on and off campus.  Here are some safety tips that you should always follow:

•    Do not prop residence hall doors open.  This compromises the security of the entire building.

•    Lock your door and protect your key.  Even when leaving for only a few minutes, lock your door and take your key.  Never hide or lend keys.  Always lock your door when you or your roommates are sleeping.  Do not attach your ID card to your keys.

•    Do not allow strangers into your room.  Find out who is at your door before you open it.  UNH employees carry identification, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.  Beware of solicitors.  They are not allowed in residence halls and should be immediately reported to the UNH police department at ext. 7070.

•    Avoid risky behavior.  Remember that alcohol impairs your judgment.  Think before you drink, and consider the risks before you act.  The decisions you make now can have a significant impact on your safety and on your future.

•    Be alert to what is going on around you.  Be aware of your surroundings, and walk confidently and with determination.  Avoid shortcuts in isolated areas, and walk in groups at night.

I want you to know that the University takes the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff very seriously. UNH has a history of having a safe campus, and these types of incidents are very unusual. We must remain vigilant, however, so that together we can help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving,

Steven H. Kaplan

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President Kaplan Responds to Incidents on Campus