A public forum on crime and the presentation of an award for crime-fighting efforts will highlight a two-hour memorial service scheduled for tonight to remember three former students who were murdered while enrolled at the University. The service will honor former physics graduate student Meera Ananthakrishnan, former economics graduate student Cyril Leung and former Engineering undergraduate Tyrone Robertson. The service will begin at 6 p.m. in the Houston Hall Bowl Room. Students and faculty will speak about each of the three murdered students, and several campus administrators will talk about the University's crime problem in general. Immediately after the service, the University Council's Safety and Security Committee will present its first Meera Ananthakrishnan/Cyril Leung Memorial Award. The award, according to committee Co-chairperson Jeffrey Jacobson, will go to a group or individual that has improved safety at the University. Jacobson said the committee hopes to give out the award each year. Safety and Security Co-chairperson Adelaide Delluva said efforts to help the community should be noticed. "We feel that they're so important that they should be recognized," she said. "It doesn't carry with it any money or anything like that, but it carries with it a commendation of peers." The committee informally honored Escort Service last year for improvements. This year, Delluva said, members wanted to make the award official. The service is the fourth annual memorial the University has held, starting with a service on the first anniversary of Ananthakrishnan's death. The Women's Center and 32 other campus groups are co-sponsoring the service. Women's Center Director Elena DiLapi said the service is a way for the University to "keep their spirits alive in the absence of their bodies." She said Ananthakrishnan's death sparked several changes at the University. Security in residence halls was drastically changed following her death. Both Ananthakrishnan and Leung were foreign students, and outcry from international student organizations following their deaths has led the University to try better integrating these students into the general community. This year, DiLapi said, the University will have a special Thanksgiving dinner for international students who remain on campus during the break. The Gospel Choir will perform two selections during tonight's service. Jacobson, DiLapi, Barbara Cassel, assistant to the vice provost for university life, Anthropology Profesor Peggy Sanday and a foreign student adviser will also speak. University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich will send a written statement. The forum after the service will be open to any members of the community. Women's Center Assistant Director Gloria Gay said there will be no panel to address questions, but officials in the audience will likely answer questions that come up. Delluva said she believes the forum will give the administration a clear idea of how students stand on the issue. "The immediate outcome will be that the powers that be will see how frightened people are," she said, adding that continued outcry serves as "nagging." "You keep pressing," she said. "You keep saying, 'This has happened, what are you going to do about it?' It sometimes works."Comments powered by Disqus
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