Monday, February 8, 2010

Colleges Wary of Violence Near U.S. Border

ABC News reports on how violence along the border affects (or doesn't affect) nearby universities. The tone of the article suggests there is very little impact but my cynic's view leads me to think university officials are trying to deal with the public relations aspect of negative press. It would be interesting to have more student perspectives. --Lauren

As drug violence continues to escalate across the Rio Grande, particularly in Juarez, Mexico, many colleges and universities along the U.S.-Mexico border are working to assure students that their campuses are safe.

As the body count continues to rise, city officials search for a solution.
Despite the murders in neighboring Juarez, the city of El Paso, Texas, has remained relatively calm.
"Though we're located very close to our neighbors to the south, I'm not aware of any spillover that has taken place that would directly affect our students," said Clifton Walsh, chief of police for the University of Texas at El Paso. "We do work with agencies to monitor the activities taking place in Mexico."

Last Sunday, 16 people, many of them teenagers, were gunned down at a house party early Sunday morning in Juarez. They are now among the more than 15,000 who have been killed in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon assumed office in 2006, according to the Associated Press.

In El Paso, Walsh said the university issues travel bulletins to students who want to travel across the border, as recommended by the State Department.

The violence nearby, however, has yet to deter students from enrolling at UTEP, said Steven Lazarin, UTEP public affairs specialist. In fact, enrollment has increased steadily over the past few years to about 21,000.

"I think students have grown accustomed to the violence," said Ruben Rodriguez, a sophomore at UTEP and a long-time resident of the border city. "I think we all feel moderately safe, at least on this side. I mean, UTEP can't provide 2,500 bulletproof vests."

Story continues: http://abcnews.go.com/OnCampus/colleges-wary-violence-us-border/story?id=8756754&page=2

1 comment:

Bonita said...

Wow! It is unbelievable. I can’t believe this was allowed to escalate to 15,000 murders in 15 years. As Gilber mentioned in piece, “there is now rule of law in Mexico. “