Students question why UNO Safety didn’t release timely warning after body found

Photo by Derek Porter.

Jessica Wade

A student notified campus security after they found who they believed to be an injured person in the ravine near the Elmwood Park swimming pool Thursday. Upon arrival, University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) police determined the individual was deceased and OPD was notified.

The deceased individual was later identified as 52-year-old Calvin Minor. The cause of death is still under investigation.

The Gateway covered the first few hours of the investigation as a breaking news story. As word of the incident spread via social media, students raised the concern: why weren’t they informed of the situation by UNO Public Safety?

Junior and secondary special education major Ashley Ericksen said she was on break from her night class when she heard a body had been discovered near campus. She said it was disheartening to see that UNO didn’t send out a message.

“The first thing I thought was ‘why didn’t the university send us a message about this incident?’” Ericksen said. “Although Elmwood isn’t owned by UNO, students park in the streets, parking lots, and walk through Elmwood every single day.”

UNO Public Safety is required by the Federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) to keep and disclose information about crime on, and near campus, including timely warnings of crimes that may represent a serious or ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees.

Assistant Director of Public Safety Mike Murphy said via email that Public Safety didn’t release a timely warning because the incident did not pose any danger to students, staff or faculty.

“Although a very unfortunate incident finding a deceased male in the creek bed in Elmwood Park, Omaha Police do not suspect any foul play and no danger was identified for the campus.” Murphy said.

UNO Public Safety patrols UNO buildings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you ever experience an emergency on campus, dial 402.554.2911.