Dorm security loopholes

Earlier this month, Colby Eck, a 19-year-old CCV student, gained access to Harris Hall, stripped himself of all clothes and proceeded to sexually assault female UVM students, while he under the influence of ecstasy. He claimed that he was visiting a friend. A few weeks later, as a test, a Cynic reporter, who is not a Harris resident, easily gained access to the residential hall without using a keycard or asking for entry.”I simply walked in behind two people who proceeded to hold the door for me. I was then able to freely walk around the Harris halls,” the reporter said. In a later interview, campus police Chief Gary Margolis was asked to define the role of campus police regarding dormitory security.”We don’t randomly patrol residence halls. Reslife is responsible for the policies that govern the security of the halls. When we are in the halls it’s because we’re responding to a call for service and/or we’re working with res hall staff to solve a specific problem,” Margolis said.The duties of the residential advisor are numerous, and outlined as “providing a safe and secure environment that fosters healthy, inclusive community building among all residents,” according to the reslife website. Such duties can range from the reporting of instances of drug use and verifying the security of entries and exits to dormitories. When asked if there was any other type of dormitory access control, Chief Margolis said that the CatCard system was the “primary access control for res halls. “Accessing the dorms to non-residents is often visiting someone in the hall, because doors get propped, or because someone follows them into the building,” Margolis said. When asked if the recent Eck incident merited any further security measures beyond the CatCard verification system, Margolis said, “I think that no security system in the world is going to protect against students allowing visitors and strangers into the residence halls. “Eck was avoidable if his friend, the UVM student and hall resident, had made a better decision to not let him in the building.” Margolis said