Safety talk unites campus

Kelly Petryszyn

Joint meeting packs Oscar Ritchie Hall

Kent State University Police Lt. Robert Nation answers questions about campus safety at a meeting between BUS, SALSA and USG members along with various concerned students and faculty at Oscar Ritchie Hall Monday night. HANNAH POTES | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The one-sided conversation ended last night.

Students, administration officials and Kent State University Police representatives came together to have a conversation about safety and the recent events affecting Kent State.

Police Lts. Monica Moll and Robert Nation asked students what they were concerned about. Hands popped up and voices spoke out to get the ball rolling for the hour- and-a-half conversation in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

One professor was concerned for her students walking back from class late at night.

Nation said students should be aware of the escort service on campus. The service operates between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. each night. The service can be reached at 330-672-7004. Emergency phones, recognizable by a blue light, are also available outdoors.

Kent State Police are in constant radio communication with the Kent City Police, Nation said. Kent State Police also keep in radio contact with the escort service and even communicate with Parking Services.

He said students should walk in groups, keep cell phones handy and be aware. He said it is important to use your resources, and the best crime prevention is you.

Greg Jarvie, interim vice president for enrollment management and student affairs and dean of students, said students should not panic. Instead, students should take personal responsibility for their safety.

“This is a large campus – let’s be real,” Jarvie said. “We can’t have police and security aides at every part of campus.”

Moll added that there is a balance between safety and freedom. Students would not want cameras everywhere.

“It depends on what the grand jury says – whether or not it was pre-calculated or not pre-calculated, you could make an argument,” he said. “Without having the specifics of it, certainly they’ll be raised.”

James Peach, chief of the Kent Police Department and John Peach’s twin brother, did not respond to a message left at his office in time for this report.

Robbed at gunpoint

“It wasn’t a huge deal,” said Tyler Conkle, who was held up by three armed robbers. “Everybody made it out to be a lot more serious than it was.”

Conkle, a freshman physical therapy major, and two other friends were robbed at gunpoint around 2 a.m. Saturday in an apartment at Silver Oaks Place off of Loop Road.

City police had no information to divulge other than what their press release said: Two students were robbed by three suspects who left in a gray Ford Contour.

Conkle said he was walking back from a Midnight Movie in the Kiva with his friends, freshman pre-med major Gabriel Goldstein and junior finance major Francisco Javier Cordero.

They had encountered three men, the suspects in the robbery, outside the Kiva before they went in the building and talked about some trivial things.

After the movie, they were still there. The three men offered alcohol to Conkle and his friends and invited them back to their car at Silver Oaks to retrieve it.

When they got there, Conkle said the suspects asked him and his friends to look for the alcohol in their trunk, then one of the men pulled out a gun.

“The one guy, the Hispanic one, came out of the passenger side with a gun pointed at me and my friend and told us to flip our pockets,” Conkle said. “Instantly our hands shot up.”

Conkle said none of them had any money, and after the suspects looked through one of their wallets and found nothing, they allowed them to leave. Conkle said the situation could have been worse.

“(The Hispanic suspect) was like, ‘You fell into our trap,'” he said. “He’s like, ‘You know how it is when you’re broke; you gotta make money somehow.'”

Contact public affairs reporters Ben Wolford at [email protected] and Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected]