Fear a factor for parents after TSU death

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 9, 2001

Features Editor

Fear of the unknown is a major factor, for some parents, surrounding the death of a Troy State University freshman Sunday night.

Brandi Hobson, of Clio, was found unconscious in her dorm room at Clements Hall by her parents late Sunday night. She was pronounced dead a short time later by the Pike County coroner.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Because the cause of death was not known, pending an autopsy report and, because the university increased campus security patrols and altered its security procedures, rumor began to fly about the cause of the death of the 17-year-old student.

The rumors caused fear among many of the students, especially the coeds. And, parents also became concerned, some to the point of considering taking their daughters out of school.

"As the parent of a university student living near a dorm where the body of another student was found dead due to unknown causes, I

became frantic," said Cindy Butler. "My first instinct was to rush to the university and drag my child home to safety and security."

Bulter said although her heart goes out to and agonizes for the parents and family of Brandi Hobson, her sole concern, at this moment, is for the safety of her daughter.

"We don’t know what caused the death of Brandi," she said. "The fear of the unknown is far worse to deal with than the known. The police, the university officials, the press or someone needs to let the students and parents know if there is no need for alarm at this time."

Butler said with the need for increased security at the university, it is easy to make assumptions, however unrealistic.

"Perhaps we are jumping to conclusions regarding this unfortunate, tragic incident," she said. "But these students need some type of assurance, at this time, in order for them to focus on their studies and concentrate on all aspects of university life, not to mention the need for peaceful sleep."

University officials said they have taken prudent steps to respond to the needs of the students

and parents, but it is imperative that nothing is said or done to jeopardize the investigation which is being conducted

by the university police, the Troy Police Department and the Pike County District Attorney’s office.

Parents who continue to have concerns may phone the university hot line at 670-3203.