News Staff Report
Officials at SUNY Buffalo State have called a town meeting for 7 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center in Rockwell Hall in the wake of an armed robbery Tuesday night, the fourth criminal incident on campus in the past five weeks.
The meeting, to be attended by college president Katherine Conway-Turner; Hal Payne, vice president for student affairs; University Police Chief Peter Carey; Michael LeVine, vice president for finance and management; and United Students Government leaders, will address concerns from students, faculty and staff and accept suggestions on how to make the campus safer.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Conway-Turner noted that campus police have stepped up their bicycle and foot patrols and are soliciting suggestions from students, faculty and staff they encounter. Ideas also can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, she said.
Ideas on improving campus safety will be forwarded to the president’s cabinet, the college’s Campus Safety Forum and the Community Policing Advisory Committee.
In Tuesday’s incident, a woman student who lives on campus was robbed of her jacket at knifepoint by two men who approached her about 8:50 p.m. as she walked between Upton Hall and the Science and Mathematics Complex. She was not hurt and her jacket later was recovered, police said.
Anyone with information about the incident should call campus police at 878-6333 or their Confidential Tip Line at 878-3166.
Previous crimes on the Elmwood Avenue campus include a Sept. 13 robbery, at gunpoint, of a male student walking in a stairwell of Tower 3 with three companions; the Sept. 8 slashing attack on one student by another, outside the Student Apartment Complex; and the Aug. 28 attempted sexual assault of a student in her Porter Hall dormitory room.
Police reported arrests related to the Aug. 28 and Sept. 8 incidents.
After these incidents, Conway-Turner noted, Residence Life staff held dormitory floor meetings to review safety measures and building security procedures with students. They also have been checking IDs.
Conway-Turner said that she and USG president Derek Jorden also toured the campus and the residence halls recently to talk with students and see how they were handling recent events.
She reminded students, faculty and staff of the police safe escort program, which provides a walking companion or a ride on campus free of charge. A personal escort to a car or residence hall can be requested by calling University Police at ext. 6333 (878-6333) from a campus phone or one of the college’s 43 blue-light phones.
“These incidents have been distressing to all of us,” Conway-Turner added. “However, I remain encouraged by the spirit and collective power of our Buffalo State community.”