Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire was stabbed by Olin Hall on Aug. 28.

Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire was stabbed by Olin Hall on Aug. 28.

September 11, 2016

For Students, Cornell Seems Safe After Stabbing

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In the wake of a fatal stabbing in front of Olin Hall on Aug. 28, many students who called the incident unfortunate and shocking still maintained that they do not unsafe at Cornell.

“My parents texted me that they heard there was a stabbing and asked if I was O.K.,” Cindy Huang ’18 said. “But after that it was fine and none of us were really worried.”

Many students say their parents grew concerned about safety on campus following the stabbing, especially since police have yet to identify any suspects in the case. However, others said they believed the incident was a one-time tragedy.

“I was concerned when I heard [about the stabbing]. More concerned after reading articles and noting that the assailant must have had to exit the campus going past [my daughter’s] apartment,” said Steve Harrison, the father of Lauren Harrison ’18. “I believe it to be a one-off and very tragic event. [However] I don’t see it as a precursor to other similar events in the future.”

Harrison said that while be believed the “University reacted well at the time,” he said he wished administrators had communicated more clearly with parents in the wake of the incident.

“There was a lack of direct communication to parents,” he said. “I never received an email alert or a robo call. I found out from a colleague who showed me an article then had to go on the web to check the University’s web site and check the news sites for more details.”

Harrison also stressed that at public campus events, “especially at night where people from off-campus can attend” he would expect to see a more significant security presence.

Lauren Harrison shared several of her father’s sentiments, saying that, although she is mindful of her safety, she does not plan to drastically change her behavior because of the crime.

“I’ve always been conscientious of where I walk at night and make sure I stick to well lit paths, therefore I’m not too concerned about my safety,” she said. “Cornell has many different safety precautions implemented like the blue lights and CUPD patrols. They can’t be everywhere at once. In my opinion, bad things are bound to happen and you can’t live your life in fear of them.”

Others blamed external substances rather than security presence, saying that, although the event preceding the stabbing in Willard Straight Hall was dry, alcohol may have influenced the aftermath.

“I think the situation got out of control because it was probably fueled by alcohol,” speculated Kwan Yong, father of Kaitlyn Yong ’18.

  • Jay

    Feel safe?
    Two weeks and officials say absolutely nothing !
    I doubt that the Nazaire family will ignore this event as the parents of students are doing !

  • Unsatisfied

    An article saying students feel safe when no more info about the progress of the investigation does not exactly make parents of the slain, as well ascot rent parents of students on the campuses feel good. This is total bullcrap. I’m sure thousands of parents are checking this and other papers online periodically for ANT UPDATED info about the crime and there’s NOTHING. Get Federal investigation To assist if case not moving forward. We are going on to week 3 and Nothing!! This article is useless to us- provide with a bit of info on the progress of the case!! Parents should push administration and law enforcement to get help if needed in solving this crime. This cannot go on unsolved with all the witnesses and video etc!!! Parents are not satisfied with the lack of updates and reporting regarding any follow ups regarding this tragic event.

    • Cynthia Jackson

      As a parent from Minnesota, I share your concerns. It is unfathomable to me that students stood around making videos of a murder and then apparently decided to not turn over the evidence to police — is it really better to protect a murderer who is a fraternity brother than to cooperate with investigators to make sure justice prevails for a murdered young man and the family who loved him? Where is the outrage? There was NO direct communication with parents on this.

  • Beyond unsatisfied

    “Cornell SEEMS safe” Great news!!!! Just what a parent wants to hear- how about an update on the crime investigation and what the university plans on doing in response to any new rules and updates on security measures for these open party, etc. We parents as well as the family of the slain, would like some other info other than this fluffy article which gives us nothing.

    • Cynthia Jackson

      Cornell may seem safe but the reality is that a murderer has either fled the Cornell campus and is long gone into hiding or is still among people in Ithaca. Not safe. No matter how it feels.

  • Steve

    This murder is an unspeakable tragedy. The fact that no arrest has been made and that no meaningful information has been forthcoming is appalling. The appearance of this puff piece after days and days of no meaningful information is disturbing to say the least. Pressure should mount from students, parents, and alumni that it be clearly demonstrated that no effort is being spared to identify the assailant. This paper should lead that effort.

  • Shocked by Cornell leadership’s silence

    It is scandalous that no reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Perhaps the Ithaca Police, Alumni Association or family will start a fundraising campaign to catch the assailant. Clearly Cornell itself cannot or will not respond to this tragedy.

    What about prosecuting and / or expelling any Cornell students involved in the brawl as well? Just because there were “only” two stabbings does not mean it is acceptable behavior to brawl either. Does Cornell not have a code of conduct for its students?

    How is the search for a non interim President going? Does the Provost have anything to say about this matter?

  • amw

    Cornell Sun, you need to be pressing administrators and police daily about this. Be relentless, show what you are made of. As a parent, I am appalled by the fact that there is no movement on this. We received a communication on August 28th from Ryan Lombardi to Cornell parents and after that, basically nothing. His letter stated that parents can send inquiries to and you better believe I’ve been doing that weekly. Parents need answers, students need answers, and the Nazaire family needs answers.

    • Susan

      So totally agree with you!
      Perhaps a petition and more news coverage!

  • This is nonsense

    Agree with above. This article is insulting our intelligence and not easing any minds. All parents of both colleges need to not be satisfied with this lack of information.As far as newspaper goes, please push as well for answers from administration and law enforcement- it’s not “safe” until we get some answers here! This was a murder not a theft from someone’s backpack..

  • This is nonsense

    Offer a reward- see how people crawl out of the woodwork!! Do the parents really need to be the ones to be thinking about how to further this investigation?? Apparently so. What the >%~# is going on here????

    • Susan

      ?? totally agree

  • Come on

    This victim was not jogging through the woods alone.THERE WERE WITNESSES AND VIDEO!!
    This is idiotic.

    • Susan

      Yes yes yes
      Videos and witnesses
      Just incredible

  • Current student

    The parents in this comment thread need to calm down. I currently go to Cornell, and I recognize that what happened was a tragedy, and also something that rarely happens anywhere. Most students on campus were shaken by what happened, but most of us are NOT scared and most of us DO feel safe.

    To “Shocked by Cornell leadership’s silence,” the Provost oversees academic affairs. There is no reason for the Provost to be involved in this criminal investigation.

    This investigation is in the hands of the Ithaca Police Department. I, for one, would rather see Cornell’s energy and funds go towards a providing a better education.

    • Steve

      How you “feel” is largely irrelevant. The person who was tragically and brutally murdered seemed to “feel” absolutely great until shortly before he was killed. The bare fact is that a person was killed. That means that he is no longer alive to “feel” anything. Someone did that to him. There needs to justice.

    • recent alumnus

      Why not accompany this piece about how students feel “safe” with a piece with a bunch of interviews about whether they think that some of their fellow students know which of them is a MURDERER and how that makes them feel?

      I’m glad you don’t feel personally threatened but are you MAD? Mad at whomever did this? Mad at the people who are not bringing forth evidence? Mad at yourself for not stepping in to save a life? Mad at the Cornell Sun for basically ignoring what you’d think would be the biggest story of their careers as college journalists in favor of their normal coverage of mundane campus issues?

      I am!

      Its obviously not in the University’s interest to keep this in the news so that is why we have an independent paper. If you want to keep that “independent since” banner, perhaps its time to find out what is going on. What moves have the police made? What is the university doing? Do some reporting!! Its time to pick up your Pulitzer (college-version)! Where are the big-egoed journalists looking to make their mark??

      • Ar

        Why is everyone assuming it’s a Cornell student that is the murdere ??? I do agree though that with all those witnesses it’s really sad that they can’t figure out who killed that young gentleman. Very sad to me. And the family needs justice !!!!

    • Shocked by Cornell Leadership’s Silence

      You obviously know little about how the University is run, yet that does not stop you from commenting as if you think that you do. In addition to being chief academic officer, the provost is the chief operations officer of the University, sets budgets for academic issues and things like police, security and student events, and as such it would be quite reasonable for him to comment on a murder on campus which impacts his budgets, the academic environment and perhaps safety of faculty, staff and students. There are also federal rules about disclosing crimes and dangers on campus and the University can be held accountable by the DOE if these rules are not followed.

  • Hotelie Alum

    In April, 1969 the Straight was taken over by African-American students seeking redress for issues they believed needed to be dramatically changed. That change came about and Cornell is a much different place now. In 2016 a visitor to the Straight was stabbed after a party, apparently after an accident and a perceived slight. The decedent was on campus because he felt welcomed, and the group which invited him believed they could extend a hand of welcome, thanks in part to the actions taken at the Straight nearly two generations before. It is doubtful that any involved in the recent killing knew much–if anything–about what their predecessors did to make sure that today’s minority students would find a welcoming place at Cornell. This alumnus hopes that the killer is soon brought to justice and punished severely for a crime which was not in keeping with the risk taken 47 years ago.

  • Lenny

    SOMETHING needs to be done and done immediately!
    Great to hear some of the compassionate replies but the others need to SHUT UP because there will be consequences for the actual killers when the Nazaire lawyers bring this case to trial!
    Cornell officials need to write a piece about the girl and the person who stabbed Anthony. Black lives do matter -especially a life such as Anthony Nazaire planned for himself!

  • Simmi87

    Safe? How can you feel safe when a murderer is still on the loose. Seventeen days later this case is a travesty and disgrace to Cornell and the Ithaca community. Every time i read the limited coverage on the case my anger grows from the lack of respect given to the slain young man. I could go on but i agree with most of the comments posted about this article. Steve’s comment above to the “student” really hits the point and shows how pathetic this current student body is by not turning over evidence.

    I think its time for alumni to take a stand and start withholding our donations until the university takes a more active stance in this investigation.

    • Seth Lee

      Yes, sure you are an alumni. Save your Hawaii Five O & CSI comments to yourself. Crime is not solved in an hour.

  • Concerned alumnus

    I agree that we must take steps to encourage students to share their smart phone photos and videos from that evening.

    However, to prevent this high risk situation from being recreated next year, Cornell should overhaul the Orientation Week schedule and drop any event that extends past midnight. Cornell administration should scrutinize the actions taken by Travis Apgar and Omega Psi Phi to make sure that fraternity-sponsored events are properly monitored and that the University’s policies are applied fairly and consistently.

  • Ithaca Parent

    The Cornell Sun needs a proof reader. How can this article be published with grammar errors? The fact that this tragedy remains unsolved is unacceptable. Is is amazing that with all the “heavy hitters” in the Cornell universe, no one has used their influence to achieve the justice that this man and his family deserve. To whom it may concern: Solve this murder A.S.A.P.

    • Gail

      As Soon as Possible
      The lawyers will handle this with their own police detectives from Brooklyn !

  • Cornell parent

    The host fraternity is protecting its own. If this incident was white on black, the social justice organizations would be in an uproar. Politically correct , socially defensive institutions will not call out the crime with transparency.

  • Beyond disgusted

    IF this young man had been killed after a white fraternity party, it would still be all over the news, CNN, etc. The heat would be on and media trucks would be all over Ithaca. Every stone would be turned, asap because it would be considered racially motivated and there would be pressure to solve because of media coverage.Instead, investigators are asking for video etc.3 weeks later and articles are being written saying campus is safe, as if we were all a bunch of morons. IF any parent, student, or alumnus is satisfied with this crap, then shame on you. This is a disgrace.

  • Carol

    I’m with you disgusted!
    Total disgraced!
    Van Jones, Bakari Sellers, Don Lennon/CNN
    Where are the journalists ????
    And this article denies the concern and worry of everyone by writing this bull

  • Community Member

    As a community member, and a person who was around during the 1969 takeover of the Straight, I have been upset at the lack of coverage as well. Especially in these times of unarmed black men being shot by police
    , this tragedy, even if not racially motivated (although it could be) should not be hushed. I’m sure the police have information they are not, or cannot yet, share and it is tempting, but probably unwise, to speculate on what exactly happened. However that there has been so little discussion or media coverage is disturbing. I have heard hardly any mention of the second young man who was stabbed- and can’t help but wonder if he knows the identity of the assailant. I hope he is okay. Assurances to Cornell and IC students that they are safe? Someone killed a student and stabbed another student and there have been no arrests.

  • John

    Community Member!
    Four weeks!

  • Concerned Alumnus

    Compare this to the Duke rape case.. Where is the outrage?!?!?! This was a MURDER!!! There was no “safe space” for Nazaire. It’s a world turned upside down. No better example than this.

  • Outraged alumnus

    Travis Apgar, the Cornell official responsible for supervising Omega Psi Phi, has yet to make any public announcement on the consequences to that organization of their ill-supervised party and their failure to assist in identifying the killer.

  • Cornell parent

    Concerned alumnus doesn’t get it ! It was black on black crime!! So sick and tired of “safe space” b.s..

  • BusinessAsUsual

    Cornell, it’s police, and the local media have the race and description of suspects out IMMEDIATELY when it is a White perpetrator, especially if the victim is non-White or female. There is also no time wasted rushing to judgement and all the chest beating about racism, sexism, etc. Here you have Black on Black crime during a poorly supervised Black fraternity event and the silence is deafening. Had it been a Lacrosse team, Hockey team or wrestling team event, no doubt we’d know every detail known and the coach would be fired and half the players suspended without a hearing.