Twice in recent days, female students have awoken to find an intruder in their Adams Hall dorm rooms.
The incidents shocked campus when announced on Nov. 28 by Public Safety. A community notice was sent in a campuswide email and flyers were hung up in buildings across campus.
According to reports, the intruder entered the rooms at around the same time during the night and rifled through drawers and hampers. In both cases, the two students whose rooms were entered awoke to see a male in black sweatpants and a hoodie. His face was covered.
Director of Public Safety Keith Molinari believes both incidents were perpetrated by the same person.
The intrusions, Molinari said, have shed light on a problem at Castleton: the use of key cards – or lack thereof.
“A big reason students don’t lock their doors is because they don’t want to have to carry keys,” he said.
Molinari’s best advice to avoid such incidents?
“Lock your doors. If you’re not going to lock your suite door, (at least) lock your room door,” he said.
In addition, Molinari cited common sense as a potential problem.
“On campus we really work hard at being hospitable, being socially conscious, and being a community, and a lot of times that includes holding the door open for people. But, we also need to use common sense at four in the morning when you’re entering into your residence hall. If you do not recognize the person behind you, let them use their own key card,” he said.
But on the nights in question, a substantial amount of time went by between the time a resident keyed in and the time that the intruder entered the suites in Adams Hall, leading Molinari to believe the offender is an Adams resident.
Two residents of Adams Hall said they were “freaked out” by the incidents and were scared to go into their common areas, worried they might see the intruder. One resident said, “I don’t feel safe when the doors aren’t locked.”
The investigation, being led by police, is ongoing. When asked about the possible consequences that would ensue, Molinari responded firmly, “I don’t get to do judicial. But, let’s say we caught that person. That person would go to a dean’s hearing. This is as serious of an offense as it gets policy-wise, but not criminally.”