Safety awareness high as students move in

August 18, 2008 10:58:35 AM PDT
UNC-Chapel Hill students are beginning the year with new security measures in place, following the murder of student body president Eve Carson.

Approximately 8,600 students live on UNC's campus. And while excitement was high on move in day, awareness of Carson's murder is high.

"I think everyone's definitely more aware," senior Julie Sass said. "None of my friends walk back alone at night. I'm always offering to come pick them up."

Sass will live off campus this year and said safety is just as important as school work.

"I live with actually 10 girls in an off-campus house, and we all talk about it every night," Sass explained. "We make plans to walk back together."

Sass said she and her friends do not leave each other alone while out.

Students walking on campus will find more security measures in place.

"In light of Eve Carson's murder, one of the things school officials say incoming students will notice this year is an increased presence of campus police," UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said. "We've looked very carefully at our staffing in public safety. I think we've upped that and we have done some things on campus lighting and will continue to do that and then we put our Alert Carolina system in place, which allows students to register their cell phones so they can get text messages."

The university also has a new siren system to alert students of an emergency. Chancellor Thorp hopes the changes provide an environment where students feel safe.

"It's raised awareness about campus security, so we've taken a number of steps about campus security and I'll be talking about that in my address to new students tomorrow [Sunday]," the Chancellor said.

With expensive items like laptops, televisions and other electronics, Sass knows students can be a target for criminals. So safety is something she plans to use everyday this school year.


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