By Jonathan Woon
Elle Nyugen, biology freshman, was horrified when she saw Jacey Cullop, resident assistant of Cole Hall, covering something under the Christmas tree in the lobby of the third floor of Cole.
Nyugen was on her way back to Cole Hall at about 7:45 p.m. only to witness Cullop covering the carcass of a skinned animal which was later determined by the Winfield Police Department as a coyote. “After coming back from Eagerheart, I saw Jacey Cullop kneeling down by the tree covering a coyote up with the bloody blanket. I knew it was bad,” said Nyugen.According to Nyugen’s roommate, Bri Cathcart, biology freshman, the coyote was shot in the legs and its ears were cut. Both Nyugen and Cathcart room together on the third floor of Cole Hall. The sickening scenario was believed to be a prank.
Three freshman residents of Cole Hall discovered the carcass. “The three girls that discovered the coyote wrapped in the blanket under the tree were Hadley Barrows, Ashta Jordan and Brianna Green,” said Carthcart.
Police, animal control, school officials, maintenance and campus security were then seen at the lobby at about 8:30 p.m. and all residents of the hall were asked to stay in their rooms. “They didn’t have a meeting with us. They were trying to keep it confidential at the moment,” said Carthcart.
Those staying at Cole Hall remain cautious. “I just don’t feel safe anymore. I can’t go into the lobby anymore,” said Cathcart. The roommates used to hang out in the lobby all the time. After the incident, no one was seen hanging out in the area anymore.
Despite college officials ensuring campus safety, students are still on alert. “I slept with a pair of scissors under my pillow because I just don’t feel safe anymore,” said Nyugen.
Claudia Geer, professor of psychology, encourages students with trauma to seek counseling and professional help. “Faculty and advisors should talk to their students. People who are upset about it should see the campus minister or someone they trust and talk about it.” She also said that those that are terrified by the incident should not spend time alone.
As many students continue to go clueless about the source of the gruesome act, Geer said, “It is a more typical male behavior. To place the body under the Christmas tree was truly an act of poor judgment and bad taste.”
Geer also said that cruelty to animals is commonly precursor to cruelty to human beings.
The police department is investigating the case. No charges have been made yet. Sara Weinert, vice president for communications, said, “They have traced back to some people of interest and police have their names.”
Anyone that have information about this event, are encouraged to contact Dan Falk, dean of students, at ext. 6267.
Jonathan Woon is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email him at email@example.com.