Jones disturbance occurs despite extra security

Last weekend's downtown festival was seen as a possible cause.

On Sept. 8, two men entered Jones residence hall and attempted to gain access to residents' rooms, MU Police Department Capt. Scott Richardson said.

MU police escorted the two unidentified males, who were not university students, off campus.

The men were issued trespass warnings, meaning if they are seen on campus again, they will be arrested.

Residential Life Director Frankie Minor said there were no injuries or damages during the disturbances.

"The fact that we have an open campus means that people can come and go on the borders of campus fairly well," Minor said.

Minor also said he believed that the downtown location of the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival contributed to the disturbances.

Richardson and Minor said extra security measures were put into effect to combat the crowds in Columbia. The residence halls were locked continuously starting Friday afternoon and remained locked throughout the weekend.

After the problems occurred, e-mails were sent out to Jones hall residents explaining the problems and reiterating the security measures already in place, including the escort system.

Besides these special measures, the Department of Residential Life also has standard security measures. Specifically, in Jones residence hall, a resident of the building must accompany all visitors.

Additionally, when visitors attempt to gain access to Jones, they must phone the front desk and be escorted into the building.

Since the incidents at Jones Hall over the weekend, no other problems have been reported to either the police or Residential Life.

Safety concerns have garnered increased notice since Gov. Matt Blunt established a Campus Security Task Force, which included MU police Chief Jack Watring.

"Our No. 1 priority is the safety of more than 38,000 students, faculty and staff," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a news release. "Due to the size and complexity of the university, which resembles a small city, it is vital that we have the proper procedures and training in place in the event of an emergency."

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