SafeHorns hosts Report4Harrison event to honor Harrison Brown

Elexa Sherry

Harrison Brown was fatally stabbed on campus May 1, 2017. On Wednesday night, two years after his death, family and friends gathered at Report4Harrison — a SafeHorns open mic event in remembrance of Brown’s life.

“It’s an event to gather,” SafeHorns president Joell McNew said. “In a way to celebrate his life, we thought it would be more of a celebration if we honored him with something he loved, which is music.” 

McNew said Brown sang and played guitar on his YouTube channel and in his Jester dorm room where other students enjoyed listening to him. McNew said he even auditioned for The Voice. 

Jeanne Hall, police officer for UT Police Department’s K-9 unit, attended to support students still dealing with grief. Hall said safety measures have increased since Brown’s death. 

“We’ve increased the number of patrol officers that we have (and) we’ve increased our bike unit as well so we have more officers on patrol throughout the day,” Hall said. 

Kacey Vandervort, a Student SafeHorns officer who attended the event, said the Report4Harrison initiative is to remind students to always be vigilant. Student SafeHorns will work side-by-side with parents in the original SafeHorns group if it receives approval to be an official campus organization.

“Always report (suspicious activity) because there’s no harm in being cautious,” Vandervort said.

Longhorn Emergency Medical Services had representatives at the event speak about Stop The Bleed training, which teaches bystanders basic bleeding control techniques.

Stuart Bayliss survived the stabbing two years ago by instructing another student on how to stop his bleeding, which he was prepared for because of his involvement in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“Had Stuart not told his friend how to save him, (he) would’ve died,” McNew said. 

Bayliss said he would love to see UT require its faculty and staff to undergo Stop The Bleed training. 

”If people are prepared, then you are more likely to save a person,” Bayliss said.

Bayliss said he never knew Brown but wishes he did. 

“I still try to carry Harrison with me everyday so that he still lives on,” Bayliss said.

Vandervort said it is important to keep Brown’s story alive. 

“Although I did not know him personally, (he’s) a Longhorn brother … (and) we’re all one giant family here,” Vandervort said. “I think it’s important to learn from our mistakes and to try and prevent these tragedies from ever happening again on our campus.”