Dorm security issues resurface

Females living in Converse Hall on Sept. 12 not only had to watch their backs, but also their feet. A suspicious male, later identified as Tony Aggers, 33, entered the hall under the guise that he was starting a sock business. Aggers claimed to have sock samples for women to try on, and then fondled, kissed, and smelled their feet, according to the alert released by UVM Police Services on Sept. 19. Since this incident, Aggers has been located by campus police and has been banned from the University of Vermont for six months. In an e-mail to UVM students sent on Oct. 1, police Chief Gary Margolis explained the intrusion and included a physical description of Aggers. Margolis told students, “‘Crime awareness’ is an integral part of ‘crime prevention’… Lack of information invites complacency.” Crime prevention has been an increasingly stressed issue at UVM. Recently, Stacey Miller, director of residential life, released a list of steps that students can take to ensure their safety. These safety procedures include not letting strange people into your room, not propping open doors, locking the door to your room, and familiarizing yourself with fellow residents in your building. “I think it’s easy for people to get in [to residence halls],” said Mallory Hale, a freshman living in Converse Hall. “If people just let someone in then it’s their fault.” However, Hale said that she generally feels safe in her hall and on campus. “When I heard about what happened [with Aggers], it really freaked me out,” said a sophomore female resident of Converse, who wished to remain anonymous. “I’d heard about other things happening on campus or in other dorms. But this was the only one that really hit me because it was in my building. I’ve started locking my door even when I’m at home. I never even thought about doing that before.” According to Converse residential life staff, there haven’t been any meetings to discuss the incident concerning Aggers’s intrusion. They were made aware of what happened and told not to alarm other students living in the building. A Converse resident advisor said that she worries that outsiders have easy access to the dorms, but doesn’t see any real way of preventing it. “It’s not like we’re going to have a guard stationed at every door to check IDs,” said the RA, who also wanted to remain anonymous.