In response to a peeping tom incident Sunday morning in a West Lagunita residence bathroom, Student Housing has installed a new shower key system there to prevent unwanted people from entering bathrooms—a type of incident already reported at least twice earlier this academic year.
A female Granada resident reported a male intruder peeking under a divider while she was showering on Sunday; she said he ran away after the student screamed. Police arrived on scene three minutes after receiving a call, but did not catch the alleged peeper.
Similar intrusions were reported in both Robinson and Branner during fall quarter, prompting police reports and chatter across dorm lists.
“Whenever anything like this happens, people are a little jumpy for a few days,” said Marvin Diogenes ’77, the Resident Fellow (RF) for West Lag.
“There was an immediate call to the police department, which I think is the appropriate response when anything like this happens in a dorm, and the police were on sight within a matter of minutes,” he added.
Installing the shower key system is not the only physical precaution dorms have taken in response to unwanted visitors.
According to Branner Resident Assistant (RA) Viral Shah ‘11, staff there kept more doors locked after that dorm’s peeping tom incident in November, and police responded to reports of intruders in both Branner and Robinson.
“We walked through the door and tested all doors granting access to the dorm,” Shah wrote in an e-mail to The Daily. “We decided to lock two additional doors that we previously had unlocked… while this has been an inconvenience to our residents returning from meals, we feel that the added security is well worth it.”
Shah believes the intruder gained access to the building by posing as a pizza delivery person.
Branner RF Clyde Moneyhun said reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings constantly is the major precaution he has taken.
“I think such incidents may be inevitable, as rigorously as we guard against them,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Daily. “On a college campus, it’s fairly easy to find an open door, easy to find people to annoy or harass, easy to find expensive stuff to steal.”
“I do think the campus is very safe, but it only takes one incident to cause a lot of uneasiness,” Moneyhun added.
Courtney Spens ’13, a resident in four-class Granada, was not in the dorm the morning of the incident, but thought it was handled efficiently because locks were installed within 24 hours.
“A lot of people were really worried about it—especially the girls—because we’ve heard of a bunch of break-ins elsewhere, but it hadn’t happened to us yet,” Spens said.
Spens said she thought it was unlikely the intruder was allowed inside or followed a resident into the dorm, but probably entered through a breezeway that is usually kept unlocked.
According to Diogenes, communication continued with the Stanford Department of Public Safety (DPS) throughout Sunday, but there are no new developments regarding the suspect, who fled. Moneyhun said that the Branner intruder was not found either, “but we didn’t have another incident with him.”
Bill Larson, the DPS public information officer, declined to comment about Sunday’s incident.