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Fights, thefts disrupt dorm living

The number of thefts and fights in the dorms recently at Tyler Junior College has some students concerned about living the on-campus experience.”Our dorms are a nice and comfortable environment,” said the Residential Director of Holley Hall, Michael Georgen.Although the dorms are a “nice and comfortable environment” for the student to reside, there appears to be a down side to on-campus living. In the past month, there have been several crimes and disturbances in the dorms. There where two fights in two different dorms that happened on a single day.On Jan. 11, Rashad Batiste, a former Ornelas resident, was in an altercation inside the Ornelas Dorms in which he said four or five off-campus students attacked him.As a result, Rashad is no longer able to enter any of the dorms until his case is resolved by TJC. “I am one of the people Campus Safety look at to start trouble, and I was the victim,” said Batiste, 20, a sophomore.Campus Safety Officer Travis Newton said when he gets the call, he treats everyone with the same respect.”In my eyes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I just get frustrated when students see the altercation and don’t tell me what happened,” said Newton. “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to help you.”Campus Safety knows that fights and thefts are happening and they come when they are called, but the lack of student cooperation makes it difficult to fix the underlying problems. Campus Safety officers think it is best for the witnesses to tell what they saw and exactly what happened so the officers can resolve the problem as soon as possible. But fighting is not the only problem on campus. In the dorms there have also been a number of thefts from students’ rooms. There have been at least 10 thefts reported during January alone. “I would have to say the top two things stolen in the dorms are TVs and phones,” said Carleisha Wilson, resident adviser and sophomore.Whenever something is stolen, the resident advisers tell the students not to touch anything and wait for Campus Safety to arrive so they can get fingerprints.To prevent being a victim of theft, residents are encouraged to keep all of their belongings locked away, and if purchasing new or valuable things to be discreet with them and not let people know. “In order for me to help you, you have to help me,” said Newton. To contact Campus Safety about any thefts or fights please call (903) 510-2222.

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