GW pushes awareness to fight thefts

In the wake of nearly 20 reported burglaries in residence halls last month, the University is putting up stickers reminding students to lock their doors and starting a program to sell and lease safes, a University official said Wednesday.

Juan Ibanez, associate vice president for facilities, said decals will be placed inside residence halls that do not have automatically locking doors, like Ivory Tower, where a majority of the burglaries took place.

“The current University standard is for all suite doors to automatically lock,” Ibanez said. “In some residence halls this feature can be disabled by the residents, which we do not endorse students doing. There are a few residence halls where the suite doors do not automatically lock, and for those halls, in about a week, we will be placing a decal on the inside reminding occupants to lock their doors.”

University Police Chief Dolores Stafford said Wednesday evening that UPD is trying to put as many officers as possible in residence halls.

“We are putting as many staff members as we can on patrol in the residence halls and we are focusing on the RIP OFF Card program by having officers put cards in rooms that are open and unoccupied to remind people to lock their rooms. We are also putting the cards on property that is found unoccupied throughout the residence halls and other buildings where students congregate.” Stafford said in an e-mail.

The University provides patrol coverage in every residence hall at certain times, but some students interviewed said they would feel more comfortable if there were security in the residence halls. The only residence hall on campus to have 24-hour surveillance is Thurston Hall, which houses a majority of the freshman class.

“I think there should be people at the desk because people just walk in,” said Mary Ellen Dingley, a sophomore who lives in Ivory Tower.

Others said students should be more mindful of locking their doors.

“I don’t see the need for more security, as that causes traffic jams when bringing friends [from] out of the dorm up [to my room],” said Jehan Morsi, a junior. “I think we’re all old enough to take care of ourselves and we’ve gotten fair warning of unfortunate possibilities.”

Stafford encourages students to be more mindful of their surroundings.

“Lock the door to your residence, at a minimum, when you go to sleep or when you leave,” Stafford said in an e-mail. “Do not allow people you don’t know to enter the residence hall behind you when you come in the building. Ask them if they have their GWorld card.”

But junior Yan Levinski said this policy is nearly impossible to enforce. Levinski said he does not think twice when people walk in behind him when he enters Ivory Tower, where he lives.

“I swipe and people just walk in,” Levinski said. “Even if they do walk in, maybe they are there to see friends. The thing is, you should lock your door.”

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