EDITORIAL: Re-evaluate the University's current security practices
Over the past weekend, students in sophomore residence halls found Lobster Wok flyers in not only their hallways but also their suites, prompting some to call the Department of Public Safety. This board urges students and public safety officials alike to recognize the safety implications of this situation and respond accordingly.
For example, Devon Crittenden ’20 was doing homework in her Rosenthal North suite Saturday afternoon when an older woman entered her suite alongside a young girl. Crittenden wrote in an email to the Justice that, at first, she thought the pair was trying to find someone else’s room. Crittenden asked if they needed help, only for the young girl to ask if she would like a menu. Crittenden asked the pair to leave, but the woman and girl continued to walk around the building’s staircase, leaving flyers behind.
According to Crittenden, she and her suitemates called Brandeis Police to notify them of the trespassers, and she asked them to send an officer over in order to make the trespassers leave.
When an officer arrived about five minutes later, Crittenden could see the woman and young girl entering Rosie South.
Leon Rotenstein ’20 also told the Justice that he saw an older woman walking around with a young girl distributing Lobster Wok flyers, this time in East Quad.
The woman and girl were able to enter residence halls and walk directly into suites and rooms “uninvited and without knocking,” Crittenden said. This board finds the situation concerning, as someone else could have easily entered the buildings with intent to steal or harm.
“If we had not been there, she [the woman] easily could have stolen our possessions or vandalized the room,” Crittenden wrote.
Many residence halls have a poster near the door cautioning students against “tailgating,” or allowing an unknown person to enter the building behind them. This board urges students to be more mindful of the people they let in and to refrain from propping doors open, as that increases the risk of a stranger entering the building. It is also important for students to lock their suites and rooms; even if an unauthorized person gains access to a residence hall, they would not be able to enter the suites or rooms if occupants lock their doors.
However, while students must take the necessary precautions against letting in strangers, public safety must respond accordingly as well. While there have been no reports of the Lobster Wok distributors harming anyone, the fact that they were able to enter the buildings should be a cause for concern among the community. Public safety must be able to respond quickly to these types of situations, because there is always a chance that someone who at first glance does not seem to pose a threat might end up becoming one. Students should not feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own dorms, and it is important that the entire Brandeis community work together to prevent a recurrence of this situation.