Random Ram

Feb 042004
Authors: Elizabeth Kerrigan

Da’Love Woods, a senior liberal arts major, knows first hand

what it’s like to live, sleep and eat in a room that had previously

been home to a violent murder scene.

Before transferring to Colorado State University, Woods had

quite an interesting experience in the dorm rooms at the first

university she attended, the University of Portland.

“It is a very small Catholic Institution that was very strict,”

Woods said.

Just a short time before the school’s new freshmen were

scheduled to move into the dorms, the most terrifying and gruesome

crime that had ever taken place on the University of Portland’s

campus occurred.

“A girl was found murdered, raped, everything possible. It was

horrible,” Woods said. “When I found out that the crime scene was

my new dorm room I had mixed feelings about the whole thing.”

The person who had committed the ghastly acts was on the run and

the police had no idea where to begin.

According to Woods there were, at most, three people who had

access to the building during the time of the murder including a

priest and a custodian, but the police had no evidence to believe

that either man was the murderer.

“It was scary at first, but by Christmas break we had all

forgotten about it,” Woods said. “We thought of it as a terrible

freak accident that was probably not going to happen again.”

Enough time had passed that the calm security of everyday life

had returned on the University of Portland’s campus.

Woods had no idea that some of her own future actions would lead

to a remembrance of the shocking acts and eventually, harsh


“It was New Year’s Eve and we were just having fun and being

crazy,” Woods said.

Over Christmas break the campus was even more quiet than usual

with only athletes and international students allowed in the dorms.

As a player on the girl’s basketball team, Woods and her teammates

were some of the few who stayed in the dorms over the holiday


“We had a few drinks but no one was completely drunk and we were

getting restless,” Woods said. “I felt like I needed to scream at

the top of my lungs to let out some energy so when we were outside

in front of my dorms I did, but I didn’t know it would lead to

total chaos!”

Woods teammates had energy to burn too and before she knew it,

everyone around her was screaming like wild and crazy animals.

“Later that night, the fire alarm went off and the authorities

called everyone in the dorm into a room to count heads to make sure

no one was missing or worse,” Woods said.

As the authorities asked questions in the emergency meeting they

made it clear that there had been screams of terror in the silent

night and they needed to make sure that everyone was alive and


“I don’t know who told on us, but they found out who it was

later that week and ended up kicking me and my teammates out of the

dorms for the rest of the year.”

Woods claimed that she and her friends had never thought about

the violent crime that took place earlier that year when they were

screaming outside the dorms. She feels that they were just acting

on a crazy impulse to have a little more fun on New Year’s Eve.

“The university took it very seriously and acted harshly,” Woods

said. “I had no idea that what we did would change the rest of my

year. At least I didn’t have to stay in that room anymore and got

to live with some friends off-campus.”

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