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Safety concerns linger as ECSU students prepare for first day of classes

Posted on: 11:33 pm, August 19, 2013, by

Elizabeth City, N.C. – Precious Hall and Tekoyia Jones are all set for their first day of freshman classes at Elizabeth City State University.

The two are excited for what lies ahead, but also a little nervous after learning of the safety concerns that plague the university.

“A little scared and worried,” Hall admits.

Former ECSU security officer sentenced for sexual assault

Police make arrests in 8 backlogged cases from ECSU; 60 cases now cleared

This past spring, Elizabeth City Police uncovered more than 125 reported crimes at ECSU, 18 of them sexual assaults that were never investigated.

In May, both the university’s Chancellor Willie Gilchrest and Police Chief Sam Beamon resigned after the State Bureau of Investigation announced it was looking into obstruction of justice and witness intimidation allegations.

“It was shocking,” Jones says. “I was second guessing about coming here.”

University officials tell NewsChannel 3 that new safety changes are in effect, including more patrols and extra cameras in and around campus dorms.

“It hasn’t really been different, but it’s just more increased,” says Maurice Jackson, an ECSU sophomore. “Like there’s more of a presence you can feel.”

But is it enough to make incoming freshmen feel safe?

“At first I was like no, I’m not going to stay on campus,” Jones says. “I might go to school, but I’m going to commute. But then I was like, I think I’ll be OK.”

Hall says she’s not afraid for her safety, but will take precautions on campus.

“Never walk alone, never walk outside alone, never go anywhere alone around here,” Hall says.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to university officials and went by Interim Chancellor Charles Becton’s office Monday to discuss the upcoming year and safety plans, but no one could sit down and speak with us.

Related: 

Governor questioned about ECSU crime investigations

ECSU Chancellor announces resignation

ECSU student says she was sexually assaulted on campus

ECSU administrator says parents shouldn’t be worried

Officials: 125 crime reports at ECSU may not have been investigated properly

State now investigating ECSU after dorm leader is charged with assaulting student

ECSU police chief placed on administrative leave as SBI investigates handling of assault and sexual battery complaint

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