UNA Students Uneasy About Recent Events

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FLORENCE, Ala (WHNT) - A rape near the parking deck, death threats being mailed to the math department, and just this past Friday, a strong armed robbery on campus.

Over the past two weeks, students have grown concerned about safety on the University of North Alabama campus in Florence.

That concern has the attention of university administrators, and they are now holding safety forums this week.  They're opening up to students and reassuring them things are under control.

From the outside looking in, all appears normal on the campus of UNA on Monday afternoon.

But if you look more closely, students seem uneasy about the events that have unfolded on campus recently.

"To me, it's becoming a bigger issue, with more events happening here lately. It needs to be dealt with I think, because it will continue to keep going," said student Jerra Dover.

Students are not the only ones concerned.  UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula will conduct safety forums for students this week to hear their concerns.

"There are issues here like any other campus,” explained Chief Pastula. “And the students and faculty and staff have to be aware of their surroundings, be able to tell us, call us if they see something going on."

Chief Pastula says his police department has added 12 new reserve officers to better protect the students and staff.

And according Pastula, the university has also added two officers to the night shift to redirect resources.

"This is our community, and we want to make it the safest community possible," he said.

Jerra Dover said she appreciates the efforts of the university, but she's not taking any chances.

"I actually put this on my keychain this morning. I bought me some mace just to be sure and have it," Dover said. "I usually park in the parking deck, but with all these recent activities going on, I decided to park on the side of the road just to be safer. Just so people can see me getting in and out of my car." 

Jerra just hopes she's never faced with having to use her new can of mace.

UNA Police say they continue to investigate the rape, threatening letters and strong armed robbery that have all happened on campus.

If you have any information that can help police, please call the Shoals Area Crimestoppers tip line at (256) 386-8685.  You don't have to give your name.

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