U of L’s affiliated campus housing has seen higher crime rate in recent months Friday, Jan 29 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville Police Department has reported higher rates of crime over the past year than usual. These increases in crime seem to be especially affecting the campus-affiliated apartment buildings: The Province, The Retreat, The Nine and The Clubhouse.

“Efforts are underway to increase police officer presence with the primary goal of reducing potential crime,” ULPD Chief Gary Lewis said. “There have been a number of successful apprehensions of suspects following these incidents based upon the due diligence of marked patrol cruisers and plain clothes detectives.”

From Oct. 2020 to Dec. 2020 there were a total of 60 crimes reported at these four properties combined. The building with the most reported crimes was The Clubhouse with 20 reported incidents over the course of the four months. The Retreat had the least reported incidents, with seven crimes reported over the three months.

The three most common incidents reported were theft, criminal mischief and domestic violence. Theft accounts for 16 of these reports, not including two incidents of burglary, four of robbery and one motor vehicle theft. Criminal mischief accounts for ten incidents and domestic violence accounts for nine.

All four of the affiliated properties were contacted for comment, but The Retreat, The Clubhouse and The Nine have not reached out as of the publishing of this article.

“We do not have any information other than what has been provided by the police,” Heather Hadden, general manager of The Province said.

The most recent incident at these properties was a robbery that occurred in the parking lot of The Province on Jan. 19. No Rave alert was sent out at the time but students received an email later that day informing them that a non-affiliates phone was stolen and she was assaulted with pepper spray before she was able to drive away and flag down a ULPD officer.

Lewis says he is not sure what the increase in crime can be attributed to, but he also says he is interested in evaluating the crime data from 2020 in order to find out and decide how to best address the problem.

In the meantime, Lewis had advice for students trying to stay safe on campus.

“We continue to remind students, faculty and staff not to engage in dialogue or conversation with unknown parties, especially during late-night hours, while also keeping all windows and doors locked,” Lewis said.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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Offensive graffiti found in the stairwell of the Nine apartment building Friday, Sep 4 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

Someone spray-painted racist graffiti in the stairwell of the Nine apartment building on Aug. 31. Those symbols included a swastika and the letters “KKK.”

Jacquelyn Gesser, a Junior at U of L who lives in The Nine, said that she originally saw the graffiti through pictures sent in her group chat with other students who lived in the same building. She posted the pictures on twitter the night of Aug. 31.

“I felt that it was important to post it on Twitter because I wanted people to know that this hateful rhetoric of racism and anti-Semitism was affecting us right at home,” Gesser said. “In our own community, many residents fear for their safety (now more than ever), and these images serve as a wake-up call, if you will, to U of L and to students who have been blissfully ignorant about our current political climate.”

Gesser’s tweet of hate speech written on the walls of a stairwell in The Nine. 

The Nine released a statement the following day distancing themselves from the racism and antisemitism that was expressed in the graffiti. “We have been made aware of vandalism that occurred in one of our stairwells that saw some highly offensive graffiti posted on the walls,” the statement said.

“As soon as we were made aware of this, we launched an investigation to identify those responsible and painted over the graffiti, which in no way represents what we, our residents, or anyone we are affiliated with stand for.”

U of L’s twitter account also replied to Gesser’s tweet and made a similar statement. “Thank you for alerting us to this. We have launched an investigation to identify those responsible and painted over the offensive graffiti, which in no way represents what we, or our affiliates, stand for,” they said in the tweet.

Gesser hopes that U of L will take this as an opportunity to put their anti-racist ideas into practice. “The University prides itself on being a ‘premier anti-racist institution’ so we must hold them accountable when something as repulsive and frightening as these images appear on their affiliated property,” Gesser said.

“The university has promised that they will investigate the matter (through ULPD) and as a resident of the Nine, I demand that they do not stop the investigation or write off its importance to the greater U of L community.”

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