Armed robbery on UH campus sparks security concerns, talk of guns on campus

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by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Updated Monday, May 6 at 5:01 PM

HOUSTON -- A frightening armed robbery at a parking garage on the University of Houston campus over the weekend has students on alert.

UH officials said a female student was approached by a male suspect around 12:15 a.m. Saturday in the visitor section of the Cullen Oaks garage. The victim told police the suspect came up from behind and robbed her of her cell phone at gunpoint.

The recent crime has students talking about their security concerns and whether they should be allowed to bring guns on campus to protect themselves.

The overwhelming response from students was no, they should not be allowed to bring a gun to campus, but they did say more could be done to prevent the number of assaults in and around campus.

Since January, there have been five cases of robbery or aggravated robbery, and one case of sexual assault reported to campus police.

It's unlikely someone would mess with Tyrone Campbell, who plays football here, but even he agrees the school's location in Houston’s Third Ward makes him uneasy.

“I don't really feel safe anywhere, you always have to be on guard,” said Campbell.

State lawmakers want to change that. On Saturday, the House passed a bill that would allow students with a conceal carry license to carry firearms on campus.

Campbell says students who could carry a gun would be taking on a huge responsibility.

“If a student is going to have a gun on campus, you can't pull out a gun unless you are really willing to shoot it,” said Campbell.

But others say guns are not the answer.

“Students are too unstable,” said student Ashton Hunter. “We're in college right now, Everybody is always stressed out.”

The bill isn't exclusive to students; faculty and staff could also carry a firearm.

Mallory Chesser works as a coordinator in the Honor College of Communications. She says she would hope the campus would opt out of this potential policy.

“I feel the presence of more guns is not going to make anyone safer,” said Chesser. “I think it's going to make access easier and that's never a good thing.”

The firearms bill now moves to the Senate.

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