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LSU officials hold virtual forum to discuss student safety amid campus crime surge

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BATON ROUGE - Several crimes on LSU's campus as recent as last week have caused parents of students to grow worried. To ease their concerns, LSU held a virtual forum Thursday to discuss safety on campus. 

"The safety and well-being of students, staff and visitors is our top priority," Chief of LSU Police Bart Thompson said in the forum. 

Last week, Coda Stovall was arrested and accused of holding a girl at gunpoint and raping her in a LSU dorm room. In addition to that, a gun was pulled at the 459 Commons Dining Hall. No shots were fired in that incident. And in September, a botched armed robbery led to an LSU student being shot near West Laville Hall. 

Student Marcellus Byrd says he understands Baton Rouge can be a dangerous city, but he's surprised by the amount of crime on campus. 

Other LSU students gave WBRZ mixed responses when we asked if they feel safe on campus.

"I don't feel a sense of fear. I just feel we are living our everyday lives," student Laila Balogun told WBRZ. 

Other students like Elizabeth Imbody and Elizabeth Fitzugh say they disagree. 

"The truth is, it's not very safe here," Fitzugh said. 

"We are afraid to walk anywhere at night unless you are in a big group," Imbody said. 

Some parents seem to feel uneasy about the safety of their children on campus, asking many questions in the forum about how students and families will be notified when there are safety issues on campus.

Fitzugh and Imbody say they are glad the forum happened Thursday, and they hope to see more security around dorms and on campus going forward. 

"People shouldn't be able to get into dorms as easily as they do. Random people can get in so easily, and I feel like there definitely needs to be more police presence," Fitzugh said. 

Not every question could be answered. If you have a question about safety on LSU's campus, email lsufamily@lsu.edu.


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