Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Campus Concerned After Recent Crime

As news spread of a Saturday evening shooting only blocks from campus, some students expressed shock and anger. One said she was organizing students to submit suggestions to administrators on how to make Georgetown safer. And student politicians said they had their own plans to improve student safety.

An SFS senior was shot on the 1400 block of 33rd Street Saturday night, after two men robbed her and two of her friends.

Earlier Saturday morning, a female Georgetown student was mugged as she walked on Prospect Street, police said.

“I don’t feel safe at all off campus at night because it seems like there is a safety alert almost every weekend and the perpetrators are never caught,” Kathryn Zambetti (MSB ’08) said. “I’m a victim of two separate incidences, one with a knife and the other with a gun, and I don’t feel like there was proper follow-up with either.”

“It just seems like things are getting worse. I don’t remember so many robberies, stabbings and shootings last year,” Julie Harris (MSB ’08) said.

Haig Nerguizian (MSB ’08) said that changes needed to be made to allow DPS to “focus on making rounds rather than filling up shifts.”

“[The Department of Public Safety] and [Metropolitan Police] should have student safety and patrolling as their biggest priority, it should come before anything else,” Nerguizian said. “The events of the weekend prove [the] point.”

Not all students placed the blame for the incident on DPS, however. Gabriela Vilaro (SFS ’07) said that the university has helped address student safety concerns. In an e-mail sent to European Club members, Vilaro said she was organizing students to submit suggestions to DPS to improve student safety.

GUSA Presidential candidates have also begun integrating safety suggestions into their campaign platforms.

Candidate Kahlil Hibri (SFS ’07), said that MPD responded improperly to this weekend’s incidents.

“Metro and DPS are focusing too much on breaking up parties and bothering the students rather than focusing on what is really important,” he said.

Hibri also said that the university should make student safety a greater priority.

“The streets have no lights on, people can’t see anything when they’re walking,” he said.

“I would have thought Georgetown would protect its students.”

Twister Murchison (SFS ’08), another presidential candidate, said that among other necessary improvements, having working callboxes is “essential for student safety on campus.” He emphasized the need to increase student awareness of safety issues through surveys and town-hall forums, as well as the importance of the new SafeRides system.

Gage Raley (COL ’07), the third official candidate in the GUSA election, said that the lack of GUTS buses after 5 p.m. on Saturdays “could endanger” students, adding that students would benefit from increased service from the university’s transportation system through the buses’ ability to offer students a safer way to travel at night.

For their part, university and police officials insisted yesterday that they were working to keep Georgetown students safe.

“DPS, representatives of Student Affairs and the Office of University Safety have been meeting throughout the day and our investigators met with police detectives,” said DPS Director Darryl Harrison. “We’re committed to serving the campus community to keep everyone safe.”

Vice President for University Safety David Morrell said that university officials were planning a town meeting to discuss safety measures.

And MPD Lt. Felicia Lucas said that if students toned down rowdy parties on weekends, MPD could focus patrols on bigger problems – like violent crime.

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