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Students remain cautious in face of recent campus dangers

Students have been more alert and on-edge after the criminal incidents that occurred this semester.
One of these students is senior journalism major Claire Johnson, who said she had a frightening incident happen to her recently.
On the Wednesday before Spring Break, Johnson said she was walking across the campus alone around 2 a.m.
“I was walking home from a friend’s house,” she said. “I thought about calling someone to walk with me but I didn’t want to bother anyone.”
Johnson said she passed Swords Hall and noticed two cars in the circle drive. She said one of the cars was empty, but she couldn’t see inside the second car.
“I crossed the street and when I looked up I saw two large guys get out of their car and run across the street toward me,” Johnson said. “I ran across Olin [Hall] and by University Hall.”
Johnson said she called her friends as she ran.
“I didn’t even think to call the police,” she said.
She said by the time she reached Heitz Hall she thought she saw the men running back in the direction of Bacci’s.
“I was really scared,” Johnson said. “I panicked because this stuff has been going on lately. You never think it’s going to happen to you.”
She said the incident has made her more alert.
“A month ago I never would have thought anything like this would have happened to me,” Johnson said. “Now I’m more inclined to use the escort service or to go home right away, instead of staying late at a friend’s house.”
University Police Chief Dave Baer said there has been a small spike in police reports, but generally students tend to not use the services provided to them.
“We get around seven or eight calls in a shift but that’s not abnormal,” he said. “We’ve seen a slight increase, but students said they don’t use services we provide often.”
Baer said he thinks students don’t call for escorts because of how small the campus is.
“Everything is right on top of each other,” he said. “Once you cross the street you’re in a parking lot or in a classroom. The size and convenience outweighs the services that provide safety, but that doesn’t mean those services go away.”
Johnson said after what happened to her, she urges students to be careful.
“Watch your surroundings and don’t be alone at night,” she said. “We’ve all heard it before, but people think it won’t happen to them.”
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