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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Incident sparks tailgating crackdown in residence halls

Whitney Veazey

University police urge students to stay aware of their surroundings following a recent incident at Olive Hall. 

On Jan. 31 an unidentified male was reported to have followed an unnamed student into the hall.  UNA Police Chief Les Jackson revealed that, to date, the identity and student status of the male subject remain undetermined, and he has not been sighted on campus since the incident.

“We had an incident where a student entered Olive Hall, and a male subject entered behind her,” said Jackson.

In response to this unsettling event, the university has taken proactive steps to enhance the safety and awareness of its students. Signage has been prominently displayed within the residence halls, urging residents to remain vigilant and be cognizant of their surroundings. 

University Public Relations Director Michelle Eubanks clarified that there has been no official university-wide announcement concerning the matter. Eubanks emphasized the importance of empowering students with the tools to navigate such situations. 

“This opportunity is making sure that students have the tools to know what to do in those situations,” said Eubanks. While underscoring the university’s commitment to fostering a safe and secure environment for its student body.

Chief Jackson provided a detailed account of the incident, shedding light on the sequence of events that transpired on that day. After the male subject followed the student in, unaware of the presence of the unidentified male, encountered another male friend in the lobby, and together they entered the elevator bound for her room. Jackson expressed the need to identify the male subject to ascertain whether he had a legitimate reason for entering the residence hall.

“To my understanding, they didn’t know the male subject. They moved to another friend’s room, where the subject knocked on the friend’s door, and the friend didn’t answer. After that, that’s the end of that incident,” Jackson said. 

The incident, reported on Feb. 1, brought attention to the potential vulnerabilities in residence hall security. The university’s response to the incident has been measured but focused.  Despite efforts to locate and contact the individual, there has been no further communication, and the subject has not reappeared on campus, according to UNA Police.

In light of these events, Jackson outlined a series of safety measures intended to empower students and mitigate the risk of similar incidents in the future. He advised students never to open their doors to strangers and emphasized the importance of not propping open secure doors, such as those in residence halls, fire exits, and university buildings.

Furthermore, students were urged to promptly report any suspicious activity or individuals, contributing to the collective safety of the university community. Jackson stressed the significance of securing unsecured doors and maintaining awareness of one’s surroundings. The directive included an immediate call to UNA PD without hesitation in case of any concerns.

The safety recommendations extended to practical advice for students, advocating for staying in well-lit areas, walking in pairs for added security, and fully utilizing the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol service provided by the university. If transportation is required after SNAP hours, students are encouraged to reach out to UNA PD for assistance.

As the university continues to address the aftermath of the incident, it is evident that a collective effort is underway to prioritize the safety and well-being of the student community. The incident catalyzes not only addressing immediate concerns but also fostering a culture of awareness, preparedness, and proactive safety measures on campus.

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About the Contributors
Trenedy Parks, News Editor
Trenedy Parks is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Tenne. She is working towards a bachelor’s degree in journalism and digital media. She has worked as a staff writer for The Flor-Ala since Aug. 2022, and as News Editor since Aug. 2023. Her goals as a writer are to learn more about Florence and its community and to become more involved with the people of UNA.
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

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  • K

    KKMar 9, 2024 at 1:53 am

    Any updates on this? It’s hard to believe that “a collective effort is underway to prioritize the safety and well-being of the student community” without any follow up or an actual post to alert the community besides a vague ass repetitive article.