VSU police looked into allegations of an attempted poisoning incident which occurred at the Oak Street Parking Deck Monday.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, March 1, two students were moving their cars from Oak parking deck when they noticed two people walking around.
“My friend saw two sketchy people,” said one of the students, a visiting friend who said she is in the process of transferring to VSU, and wishes to remain anonymous. “Therefore, she called campus police and her and I proceeded to go back to campus. Campus police checked it out and called us back with the info. UPD were actually helpful unlike most of the rumors being spread around.”
The student then recalled going back to her car the next day and finding a blue lanyard on her car. She also reported 10 minutes after grabbing the lanyard, she experienced symptoms including blood shot eyes, nausea and a migraine.
“I went to the doctor, and my doctor said it was unusual for my symptoms to be so severe in such a short period and mentioned chloroform,” she said. “Like I said we still have no idea what could have caused this reaction, but I thought and my doctor thought that it was way too coincidental.”
VSU released a statement on March 4 stating there was no kidnapping or sex trafficking threats and that University police did respond to a report about two suspicious people in the parking deck on the same day but verified that both were known people.
“The persons involved have been identified and are in conversation with VSUPD. At this time, the incident does not appear to be as escalated as first perceived.”
VSU also stated that the illnesses the student experienced doesn’t appear to be related to the incident and that the blue lanyard keys left on the student’s car were found by the student who lost them.
VSU students have been sharing the screenshots of the incident to ensure everyone is aware and to stay safe on campus. Some VSU students have also been voicing their opinion about the allegations on the VSU app.
Kierra Slaughter, sophomore nursing major, said that she’s frustrated this attempt was able to occur and wants VSU to take more responsibility for campus safety.
“VSU needs to require people to show their ID’s or something when they come on this campus because the next time this happens; someone could get hurt or worse,” Slaughter said. “Anybody can just walk up on this campus.”
Kameron Lewis, senior history major, also said as a male student he is fearful for not only himself but also female students.
“Valdosta State University what are you doing? Like for real though we pay all this money and we don’t even have an inkling of security,” Lewis said. “I know these cameras don’t even work and I always have to watch my back whenever the sun sets on this campus. If I feel like this as a guy lord knows how female students feel. Mind you females make up the majority of the student body. Like come on, y’all are quick to send out student loan reminders. Where is the money going?”
Senior computer major and president of Collegiate Men Rahmel Gordan said he heard about the incident and decided to act fast by gathering his members to help escort female students to their cars.
“We’ve actually already been doing something similar with exchanging our contact info with that of our sister organization, Collegiate Women, but I think it’s important to extend that hand to not only them, but any woman on campus that can have someone they can quickly call or escort them to their destination,” he said.
Gordan hopes his organization’s efforts to support campus safety promote unity and get the administration’s attention.
“Hopefully, it (escorting female students) just opens the eyes of administration to try to create an even better game plan to keep the campus safe,” he said. “It should also show all the students that we can’t solely rely on VSU PD to keep us safe, but we have to band together to keep the campus safe for everyone and to not have anything like what has happened recently, to happen again. “
The student who reported the incident at the parking deck said she wants to share her story to make campus aware of not only the incident, but of UPD’s support through it all.
“I would love to just raise awareness and stop the rumors that Campus Police didn’t care because they were more than willing to help in any way possible,” she said.
This story was last updated at 5:15p.m. on March 4.
Story courtesy of Lenah Allen, Editor-in-Chief. Photo courtesy of Valdosta State University.