Safety officials, Duke students discuss safety

March 15, 2008 9:28:18 PM PDT
Two student murders are igniting serious concerns on the Duke University campus.

Graduate students at the university met with safety officials Friday afternoon to talk about their concerns.

About half of the students on Duke's campus are graduate students. Only 200 of them live on campus.

The rest of them, like Vincent Chen, walk to school everyday.

"I'm a walking target," Chen said.

That daily routine has left many feeling like targets for would-be thieves. It's a risk that became a tragic reality when a grad student was robbed and killed inside his apartment in January.

"People who are going to commit crimes are going to look for people who look vulnerable in any way," Duke student Jeremy Block said.

Looking less vulnerable was the focus of the emergency meeting between campus police and dozens of grad students.

"Walk confidently," Chen said. "Don't look like you're afraid. Look around. Be aware."

Officers are also urging students to travel in groups, but campus security is also doing its part by beefing up patrols in the areas surrounding the campus.

"This is what it takes," David Williams, Duke Police, said. "If we're more visible and more proactive, then the individuals who are planning bad things are less likely to try to do something."

And that's something that could potentially claim another life.

"It worries me but we have to realize that we're part of the community," Duke student Jeremy Block said. "I'm worried why we as Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh allow these things to happen and what can me as an individual do on a personal level and community level to try and get rid of it."

Four more safety meeting are planned in the future. Durham Police plan to participate next time.


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