Students Discuss Safety Concerns about Lake Artemesia

By Rebecca Cohen

For Unwind magazine

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A man was found dead on May 3 at 9:20 p.m. on the 5700 block of Nevada Street, near a walking trail by Lake Artemesia, according to an article in the Diamondback. 

As reported in the article, a state medical examiner performed an autopsy and concluded that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the body. The death was ruled as a homicide, but the place of death is still not confirmed.

This is not the first time a dead body has been found in this same area, though. According to a recent Diamondback article, a UMD professor, Stan Fromovitz was found dead on April 1 along the trail by Lake Artemesia. Additionally, in September, a man and his son were found dead at 8100 block of 48th Avenue in College Park, according to a WBAL article.

While these events took place off campus, Lake Artemesia and the surrounding area that includes the walking trail,  is frequented by University of Maryland students. Due to the numerous crime scenes that have been reported in this same area, this presents safety concerns for students and others who spend time in the area.  

Hannah Brockstein, a sophomore psychology and family science double major, says she often runs on the trail near Lake Artemesia.

“I wouldn’t say I necessarily feel unsafe but it definitely makes me feel like I should be more cautious when I am going there,” says Brockstein. “I [frequently] go during daylight hours… and I always make sure to let someone know where I am going just in case.” Brockstein never thought of this area as an issue before this event.

Students that choose to spend time in the area are not the only ones whose safety could be compromised. Those living close-by in off-campus apartment complexes, such as The Varsity, The View, or University Club, are affected by the danger that has regularly occurred this area.

Georgie Moulds, a freshman kinesiology major and Varsity tenant says she feels safe where she lives because of the security guards who man the doors to the building. In addition to this, everyone needs a key to get past the apartment’s lobby. She adds that she always keeps her personal apartment door locked to further ensure her safety.

“I think it is scary that there have been homicides in this area but I honestly try not to think about it,” Moulds says.

To stay safe, Moulds keeps a routine of always walking with friends when she ventures outside of The Varsity and in the surrounding area.

Not all living in the area feel as secure as Moulds does, however.

James Doody, a junior mechanical engineering major, says that he doesn’t feel particularly safe living in the area, due to the people who regularly arrive in public places and the development of crimes that have occurred nearby.

“I have had encounters with less than reputable characters around 7/11 and the area surrounding the varsity multiple times,” he says. “I was part of a fight instigated by a drunk student outside The Varsity. There is a lot of opportunity for degeneracy.”

Doody states his assumption that the area surrounding The Varsity, specifically behind the firehouse, is a less than favorable area, but factually hearing about the hazards raises greater concern.

“I felt much safer when I was naïve,” he says.

While he felt safer, Doody believes that being informed of such events occurring nearby will protect him more.  “I think it is important for people to be aware of what is going on in their neighborhood,” he says. “Even if it causes concern, I would argue that being more concerned leads to being more on edge, and being safer in general.”

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