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.