Bowie State Holds Memorial Service for Slain Student - Higher Education
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Bowie State Holds Memorial Service for Slain Student

by William Ford

BOWIE, Md. – Leslie Hall recalled first meeting his former Bowie State University friend when she visited the campus as a freshman and was her student orientation counselor.

Hope Burley read a poem and called her friend “my support system.”

These were just two of the several recollections friends told during a memorial service Wednesday night at Bowie State to honor Dominique “Domo” Frazier.

The 18-year-old sophomore from Washington, D.C., was stabbed by her roommate Alexis D. Simpson, 19, of District Heights, Md., in a dormitory on campus last week. Frazier, who would have turned 19 Sunday, died of her injuries at a local hospital.

“I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Dominique. We should give thanks to those who knew her [and see] it was a blessing,” said Bowie President Dr. Mickey Burnim. “Even though it was a difficult time to lose a loved one, we can take some positives with it.”

After the one-hour memorial service, Burnim said planning was underway to hold forums in dormitories to have students discuss how they could demonstrate more civility among each other.

“We need to use this as a discussion for the sanctity of life. We must agree to disagree with others,” he said. “A lot of goodwill can come out of this.”

Police have charged Simpson with first degree murder and related charges for last Thursday’s killing. According to police, Simpson and Frazier argued over music blaring from an iPod in a bathroom they shared in a small suite on the dorm’s second floor.

Bowie State police found Frazier bleeding in the hallway and unconscious. Police said nearly four hours after the stabbing, Simpson turned herself in and remains in jail without bond with a preliminary hearing scheduled for next month.

According to Simpson’s Twitter account labeled “PenthouseSweetz,” it’s filled with profanity-laced phrases about the weather, driving while tweeting and attacking anybody who disliked her. Simpson, a sophomore who transferred from Clark University in Atlanta, even posted this tweet to “#Random Thought” Sept. 13, two days before the stabbing and during the week of homecoming: “I should of stabbed his [expletive] the other day.”

Meanwhile, students at the small historically Black college in the D.C. suburbs made sure to let Frazier’s family know she was loved.

I wanted the family to know you have a friend at Bowie State University. We loved your daughter very much,” said Hall, 22, the school’s senior class president. “We also want to keep in mind of our core values in knowing that we pray for Alexis. We pray that she is held accountable in some way, shape, or form.”

Frazier’s mother and grandmother attended the somber, but inspirational memorial service. The one-hour tribute included a dance routine, gospel songs, poems and short stories on why everyone around Frazier smiled.

After the service, a candlelight vigil was held outside the school’s Flame of Faith statue. Then students walked across campus to Frazier’s former dormitory and placed the candles near the entrance.

“Domo was always happy. As soon as she started laughing, you would laugh,” said Chinelo Ezeka, 20, a junior who stayed in the dorm with Frazier. “Domo stayed on the second floor. I can’t go on the second now. Just can’t, but she will always be an inspiration to me.”

Funeral services for Frazier are being held Friday in Washington, D.C.

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