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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Students’ safety threatened by unwanted visitors in Lathrop Hall

The Lathrop Hall government voted to keep the building locked 24/7.

Nov. 13, 2012

There have been four cases of first-degree trespassing reported at Lathrop Hall since Oct. 27. Two cases of stealing and one case of burglary have also been reported. The most recent report occurred Friday.

Many of the incidents involve a man, or several men, walking into girls’ rooms uninvited. The men would walk in the room and, if it was occupied, apologize and say they had the wrong room.

In several cases, this occurred late at night while the girls were sleeping.

On Wednesday, there were three reports of men walking into rooms at 4:30 p.m. Lathrop Hall is now on 24/7 exterior lockdown. Lathrop Hall's government voted to enable the exterior lock.

Normally, Lathrop is locked after 11:00 p.m. and on game days. Lathrop will remain on external lockdown for the rest of the year.

Lathrop Hall resident Maddie Howard was one of the victims of a trespassing incident. At 3:45 a.m. on Oct. 27, she woke up to a man a waving a hair extension in her face. Howard proceeded to chase the man down the hall. He escaped without being identified.

“I only saw the back of his body the whole time,” Howard said.

Some Lathrop Hall residents said they feel their safety has been compromised by these events.

“Any man could just walk in whenever he wants, and if you happened to be taking a shower or something, you could be put in danger,” Howard said.

Howard said she thought an exterior lockdown was appropriate.

“I actually have thought ever since I lived here that you should always have to show some sort of ID to get into the building,” she said.

If the police find the man, charges should be filed against him, Howard said.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed concern about the lack of attention the incidents have received.

The Department of Residential Life sent out information about two of the incidents, MUPD spokesperson Scott Richardson said.

“A Clery release is where we might feel someone is in imminent danger, or could be in danger,” Richardson said. “And trespass is not a so-called Clery offense.”

All cases reported since Oct. 27 in regard to Lathrop Hall are listed as open-active on the MUPD website. There is an ongoing investigation into each incident.

The Department of Residential Life is urging Laws and Jones halls to implement a 24/7 exterior lock as well due to the underground tunnel connections between buildings.

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