SPU sophomore Francesca Fayram was walking from Ashton Hall to Robbins Apartments on Fifth Avenue West on Sunday at approximately 7:20 p.m. when she heard footsteps behind her.
She looked back and saw a man around 30-40 years old and about six feet tall with a stocky build and light hair, walking 100-150 feet behind her.
Fayram said that although she did not want to seem paranoid and run away without reason, she knew that she was being followed.
"I think the first thought was, ‘Sweet Jesus,’ or some prayer like that," Fayram said.
Fayram broke into a jog and the person behind her began to jog as well. As she gained speed, so did her pursuer.
When Fayram got to Armour Street, which borders the north side of Robbins, she began sprinting. She stopped and looked back at her pursuer, who was then walking along Fifth Avenue but keeping his head turned to watch her.
Fayram carries a container of pepper spray attached to her key chain, and she had the spray ready the entire time she was being chased. When Fayram got into Robbins, she slammed the door shut and ran straight to her peer advisor, Kiesha Hall.
Fayram then called Safety and Security and reported the incident. She filled out an incident report form, giving the details of what happened.
According to Director of Safety and Security Mark Reid, when an incident like this occurs, Safety and Security encourages the student to file a report with the Seattle Police Department (SPD).
Fayram plans to file a report with the SPD this week.
Reid said that Safety and Security will be reallocating the resources they have to compensate for new security issues brought to their attention as a result of this incident.
In order for Safety and Security to hire more officers, SPU would have to make some changes to the budget, and they are not able to do that in only a few days’ time. Safety and Security is, however, able to reallocate its current resources immediately.
"We are increasing our patrol in the area [near Robbins Apartments] as a result of this incident," Reid said.
Fayram’s roommate sophomore Aubrey Bean said that because of what happened to Fayram, she feels like she needs to be watching over her shoulder when walking across campus. "We’re not terrified to walk around campus, it’s just that this guy is in the area and is making repeated attempts. It’s scary," Bean said.
SPU President Phil Eaton said that he wants to recognize the fears and concerns that students may have.
"I believe in the security… that we have created. We just have an outstanding [security] team in place," Eaton said. Eaton said that Seattle Chief of Police Gil Kerlikowske recently told Eaton that SPU has the best private security system in town.
Fayram gave some advice for students to stay safe on campus. "Don’t walk alone even if it’s only 6 or 7 p.m.," Fayram said.
Fayram has taken self-defense classes and said that she got out of this situation safely, but she should never have allowed herself to get into the situation in the first place by walking alone at night. Fayram said she has a new appreciation for safety.
According to Fayram, although she did cry on Sunday night, mostly because of nerves, the full impact of what could have happened has not hit her yet.
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Title: Female resident followed | Author: Haley Clark | Section: News | Published Date: 2001-10-31 | Internal ID: 2253