Things that go bump in the night

Things that go bump in the night

by Alysun O'Brien

A break-in at Theme House One on Jan. 19 has compromised the safety of residents and brought up discussion of more strident security measures.

The break-in happened around midnight when the perpetrators gained access through a basement window that was unlocked because it was broken. Junior Lisa Croat was inside at the time the incident occurred.

“I think I was the one that scared them away,” said Croat.

There was not a report of anything being stolen or damaged except for some food that might have been taken. The perpetrators have not been caught either.

“I don’t know who they were,” said Croat. “I couldn’t see them.”

The break in was reported to security on Monday morning, and the window lock was fixed as soon as it could be reported to maintenance.

The residents in the house feel comfortable with the things that have been fixed and are no longer concerned about security problems in their house. After all the repairs were made, the residents did not feel as if there were any more changes they needed to make.

“[Maintenance] made the house a lot safer,” said Croat. “They went out of their way to take away our fears. We feel completely fine.”

Chris Frerichs, director of security, said it is crucial for students to inform security as soon as possible concerning matters of safety that could result in something like a break-in or theft.

“We need to know things like if doors are not latching properly and if windows are not able to be locked,” said Frerichs.

Theme house residents usually stress the most concern to security about items being missing or stolen when the house has had people over and the residents have not been able to control who is there.

Frerichs suggests theme house residents take additional precautions to assure their safety.

“Be aware. Make sure everything locks that should lock,” said Frerichs. “Keep the house locked and make sure to control the access of people in and out of the house.”

Despite warnings, some theme house residents say security is not of a high concern to them or the other residents in their houses.

“It is not really a problem to us. We leave our door unlocked at night,” said junior Josh Beinke, who lives in a theme house.”

Frerichs said each theme house resident is given a standard key for the exterior doors of their house as well as combinations for the punch combos on the bedroom doors.

“We feel pretty secure,” said senior Jesse Nelson, a resident of theme house seven. “We’ve never had any problems.”

The question arose about implementing the proximity ID card system with the theme houses, the system used in the dorms and apartments that gives residents access with their student ID cards.

This topic was discussed when the new key system was installed in other residences.

“Theme houses have been considered for the next phase for this new system,” said Frerichs.

The new key system that was installed last summer allows security to see the dates and times the buildings were accessed. It is also possible to determine who accessed the building and what, if anything, happened at the door.

“Using ID cards would probably be a lot easier, not everyone carries their key around,” said Nelson. “But someone is usually always home so the doors aren’t locked that often.”

Frerichs cautioned students of the importance of notifying security about similar incidents.

“If there are issues and concerns about security do not assume that someone else has reported it. Report it yourself to ensure that things get done and do it as soon as possible.”

With new locks adorning their doors and windows, the residents in Theme House One feel more comfortable at their house.

“We are very thankful for what everyone has done,” said Croat.