Campus safety and investigation update - Information on candlelight vigil

by Walter Kraft, Published December 13, 2012

As we reported a short time ago, Ypsilanti Police have released an update on the investigation into the death of student Julia Niswender. The release is posted on our investigation website. We continue to work closely with Ypsilanti Police and will update you with additional information when we have it. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Det/Sgt T.C. Eberts @ 734-482-9878 or Crimestopper's @ 1-800- SPEAKUP (773-2587). 

Please continue to use the investigation website for the latest updates. The video from yesterday's campus safety forum has been posted so that everyone in our community is able to view it, learn about the safety tips offered, and be aware of the many excellent questions that were raised.  Approximately 200 people attended the forum. The investigation website will continue to be updated regularly as events warrant, and also will be updated as needed during the semester break. In addition to the latest updates regarding the investigation, the site includes useful information including safety tips, contact information for the SEEUS walking and mobile escort service, and contact information for counseling services. We also have added a comprehensive roundup of ongoing media coverage to provide additional perspective.

We have moved quickly to expand our already strong campus safety and security efforts. Some of these actions result directly from comments and suggestions made at yesterday's safety forum. Here is a list of specific actions:

  1. Extended the SEEUS walking/mobile escort service to 7 a.m. (previously ended at 3 a.m.);
  2. Added additional SEEUS escort staff;
  3. Designated Halle Library as a station for SEEUS walking and mobile escorts between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.;
  4. Added four additional campus security personnel in the overnight hours;
  5. Added two additional officers  to patrol from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in addition to the normal shift coverage.
  6. Adjusted lighting sensors to brighten exterior security lighting in the areas adjacent to Halle Library and the College of Business;
  7. Adjusted the automatic timing patterns of the exterior lighting in the areas adjacent to Halle Library and the College of Business to have them turn on earlier (4:30 p.m. - 30 minutes before sunset) and to stay on later (8:30 a.m. - 30 minutes after sunrise)

A reminder, the SEEUS walking and mobile escort service can be requested by called 734-487-3387 (734-48-SEEUS).

Counseling services remain available at 734-487-1118 in 313 Snow Health Center.

In addition to our actions, we have been informed by Peninsular Place apartments that they have expanded their private security presence to 24 hours daily.

Students and friends of Julia have organized a candlelight vigil for tomorrow (Friday) night at 8:30 p.m. It will take place outside of the Lakehouse. You are asked to bring your own candles. The students will be accepting donations for the Julia Niswender Fund, which has been opened to help the family with expenses. Please view the Facebook events page or contact Rachel Weyhing at for additional information.

We will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as needed, and please continue to use the investigation website as a resource for the latest information and updates.




Walter Kraft


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