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Since the beginning of the school year, many students have reported having intimidating encounters relating to members of the McMinnville community. Two events occurred at Delta Psi Delta Fraternity and multiple students have stated that they’ve been followed and sometimes even chased by who students believe to be McMinnville residents.
According to Robert Cepeda, chief of College Public Safety, “At 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, the McMinnville Police Department arrested two non-students, Clifford Johnson, age 20 of McMinnville, and Jacob Hull, age 19 of Cornelius, after an altercation in the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity house. Both individuals were not guests of the fraternity. Both individuals have been banned from campus [for trespassing].”
In a similar event at the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity a non-Linfield student started an incident.
“On Sept. 11 at 1:20 a.m. A CPS officer observed an intoxicated non-Linfield student walking with a Linfield student, and attempted to strike another individual at the Delta Fraternity house. Other individuals intervened before anyone was struck. The McMinnville Police Department was contacted and the non-Linfield student initially departed with two other Linfield students and then fled the area when contact was attempted by McMinnville Police and CPS. The person of interest and the two Linfield students had been guests at the Delta Fraternity.”
In both events, the non-Delta members were asked to leave, said junior Michael Schmidt-Dipaola, president of Delta Psi Delta Fraternity.
“They were politely asked to leave and refused. They were asked a second time, more bluntly, and one of the individuals confronted one of our brothers. One of these McMinnville residents assaulted one of our brothers after being told to leave the second time. We immediately called McMinnville Police Department to report the situation. Linfield College Public Safety was notified of the situation and helped McMinnville Police Department sort out the situation and make sure that these type of people would not be allowed on Linfield Campus in the future,” Schmidt-Dipaola said. “Since this event occurred, Delta Psi Delta has stepped up the security of the House greatly and increased communication with Linfield College Public Safety and McMinnville Police Department to eliminate future problems.”
In other events, students have been followed by non-students. In one incident, a McMinnville resident followed junior Ashley Powers from Miller Hall to the Hewlett Packard apartments.
“I was walking back from Delta really late, like 2 or 2:30. When I got by Miller this townie came out of nowhere and followed me all the way back to my [apartment],” she said. “I didn’t [call College Public Safety] at the time because I called my roommate. I will if it happens again.”
In a similar event, junior Melanie Timmins was followed by three non-Linfield students, who made sexual comments the whole way from her apartment until Miller Hall, where the offenders sat on the porch outside. Once inside, Timmins called CPS with a description of the men following her.
“It was dark outside and I didn’t think that walking by myself would have been a bad idea because I had done it many times in the past three years that I’ve been here,” Timmins said in an email. “They made really inappropriate comments that didn’t make me feel safe, so I ignored them and kept walking. When they noticed I was ignoring them, they started following me and wouldn’t stop making sexually harassing comments about what they wanted to do to me. It scared me because they got really close and it made me uncomfortable so I ran up the stairs into Miller.”
If there’s ever times students don’t feel safe, there are options that CPS suggests to do to become safe.
“If its an emergency call 911, they can contact us via the Yamhill Communication Center. An emergency is what the students personally decide affects their own safety. Don’t second guess the situation. Remember that responses from Police or CPS could be delayed due to calls in progress. The sooner you call the better. Our number is (503) 883-7233 or SAFE. We have officers on duty 24/7. Have them program it in to there phones. Consider having it and 911 as a speed dial function. CPS conducts Courtesy Rides with the campus boundaries and foot escorts. Utilize the service if you feel unsafe. Utilize the blue light phones if location and time available,” Cepeda said.
Cepeda also said that all of the blue light phones are tested weekly to ensure they are working properly.
Cepeda says that students should be prepared and to “be good observers—get specific on your location, the person or persons appearance, individuals or vehicle direction of travel, specifics about vehicles.”
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.