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GUSA Senate responds to safety incident with call for increased university communication

Published September 20, 2021


The GUSA Senate passed a resolution calling for more transparency regarding student safety at their meeting on Sep. 19. 

Referencing an incident involving an adult man who was seen in a women’s restroom in New South at around 1:50 a.m. that morning, the resolution demanded elaboration on the incident and improved communication about future safety concerns using HOYAlerts.

No senators spoke in opposition to the resolution. It passed unanimously with no abstentions.

According to a student letter the Senate supported in their resolution, residents of New South were evacuated by a fire alarm and some witnessed the man being questioned by police on Library Walk. 

Not long after the evacuation, the letter reports, students watched police corner and then chase after the man, who evaded initial capture.

“We write the letter to express our concern about the failure to do anything to notify the student body of the threat,” the letter read. “We hope that you will improve this system in the future to protect the student body and stop the potential for the unfettered spread of rumors.”

The Senate signed their name onto the letter by formally supporting it in their resolution. The petition had 266 signatures as of Sept. 19.

Sen. Zev Burton (SFS ’22), who introduced the resolution, said the lack of communication seemed particularly dangerous in this incident, especially with the tool of HOYAlerts available to keep students informed.

The resolution urged the more consistent use of HOYAlerts and called on GUPD to release the incident report regarding the evacuation and apprehension. Nothing from the night of Sep. 18 or the morning of Sep. 19 has yet been recorded on the GUPD’s daily crime log, and no mentions have been made on any of the department’s social media pages.

Vice Speaker Rowlie Flores (COL ’22) expressed concern about the possible security implications of the incident.

“I’m still a bit curious how the man was able to get into New South in the first place, and I think we should consider whether our mobile GOCards are even working,” Flores said. “This is the first year we’ve ever used the mobile GOCards, and this has never happened in the past.”

The Senate also discussed its ongoing internal restructuring project, a survey sent out by the city regarding Georgetown and its proposed Metro stop, and conversations with vendors to bring the Georgetown Farmers Market back to campus.

The Senate will hold its next meeting on Sep. 26 at 5 p.m. in Healy 105.



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