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VCU Should Not Be Blamed

I would be outraged if I knew that Virginia Commonwealth University was hurt because of this missing person case ("Damage Control: Will [Taylor] Behl Case Hurt VCU?" Street Talk, Sept. 28).

VCU is an amazing school and provides excellent services to make sure that their students are safe all the time. Just because you are not utilizing these services doesn't mean that the school doesn't have them. Emergency phones are placed all over campus in the case that you need them in a hurry!

VCU provides more safety than other schools that I have visited. When I am at some of those places (which can be in very drab towns) I actually feel less safe than being in the urban setting that surrounds VCU.

Last year in the dorm (and even now) they checked to make sure they knew who was in the building and made efforts to ensure that no suspicious acts were going on. Other campuses give their students a card and leave them to fend for themselves. VCU looks out for their students, and I am offended that we would get a bad reputation because of the events that have recently occurred.

I am not trying to offend the mother of this girl, but they say she was so close to her daughter and she wasn't the type of person to just "up and leave." She is said to have gone missing Sept. 5, but wasn't reported missing until the 7th. How is this VCU's fault? My mother makes sure to talk to me every day! This isn't just because of the recent events that have been going on, but it has been that way since I came to VCU in the fall of 2004. Why did the roommate have to report her missing?

Freshman year of college is a time of freedom and probably the first time you get the feeling of being on your own. Students leave all the time, whether it be to visit a nearby friend for the night, or just a random trip home to visit family. Your roommates aren't supposed to know where you are all the time, but your parents should. Don't blame VCU. In my opinion someone else wasn't doing their job.

Monica Anderson

Fiction Contest Winners Announced

After receiving more than 200 entries, Style Weekly announced the winners of its Third Annual Fiction Contest at the James River Writers Conference Sept. 30.

Lenore Gay received first place for her story, "The Hobo." Second place went to Darren Morris, who wrote "The Paper Airplane Engineer." And Eva Langston won third place with her story, "Goddesses."

As part of their prize, the winners will have their stories published in the Oct. 19 issue of Style. We extend our thanks to everyone who sent us their creative efforts.


We published the incorrect goal of the capital campaign that Robert S. Ukrop, a judge in Style's Top Forty Under 40 awards (Cover Story, Sept. 28), is helping lead at the University of Richmond. It is $200 million. Style regrets the error.

Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@styleweekly.com

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