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CAMPUS NOT UNSAFE, OFFICIAL SAYS\ MAINLY PETTY THEFT
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CAMPUS NOT UNSAFE, OFFICIAL SAYS\ MAINLY PETTY THEFT

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Although three major crimes have been reported at UNCG in the past two weeks, campus officials say the school is no different from the rest of the world.

``None of the (three) individual incidents can be excused as justifiable,' said Skip Moore, vice chancellor for development and university relations, ``but, in total, they don't represent any comment on campus safety or anything else.'The reported rape, assault and drug sales that students have been charged with recently are among 88 crimes reported at UNCG since the semester started in August.

But Moore said that's not uncommon on a campus as populated as UNCG - 12,000 students. ``The campus is as safe as any place in society if you use good judgment and you watch yourself,' he said. ``I don't think single people should be walking any place at 2 or 3 in the morning by themselves.'

Moore also said students sometimes think they aren't vulnerable to crime. ``The average college student is not as security conscious as he should be,' he said.

Included in the crimes reported so far this year are two rapes, five burglaries, eight simple assaults, three robberies, 14 acts of vandalism and 44 larcenies.

``Our biggest problem is petty theft,' Moore said.

Occasionally, serious crimes do occur. Friday, a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity pledge was charged with assaulting a Ramada Inn manager.

Police say that two weeks ago Patrick Flynt Billings, 22, of 5615 W. Market St. put manager Bahram Lashani in a choke hold and kicked him after Lashani tried to stop Billings and five other pledges from stealing the motel's ice.

Last weekend, a female student said she was raped by a Pi Kappa Phi fraternity member in a bedroom of the frat house.

And Thursday, a Cotton Dormitory student - Robert Berry Jr., 19 - was wanted for arrest on drug charges.

All three students face possible expulsion. Billings and the student accused of rape will have a disciplinary hearing to determine their punishment, which could range from probation to expulsion. If Berry is convicted on the drug charges, he will be expelled under guidelines adopted by the UNC system's Board of Governors.

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity may face disciplinary action if school officials learn that the pledges were told to steal ice, Moore said.

Police have not determined that the pledges were told to steal the ice, but campus police director Jerry Williamson said the pledges were told to get ice somewhere.

``The pledges say someone in the fraternity said, 'Pledges go get ice,' ' Williamson said. ``The fraternity itself became liable then.'

Efforts to reach Sigma Phi Epsilon officers were unsuccessful.

No action is expected against Pi Kappa Phi. Fraternity treasurer Elliott Wilson said the fraternity should not be held responsible but is cooperating with UNCG.

``We deem the alleged event to not be a fraternity matter,' Wilson said. ``It is an individual matter.

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