Four video projectors, each worth approximately $4,500, were stolen from Bliss Hall on Feb. 15.
Though Campus Police would not specify how the theft is suspected to have occurred, the building is locked through the Optim security system, Ray Nesci, Professional Services Specialist of Campus Police, said. Also, individual classrooms within the building are supposed to be locked.
“It is standard procedure to lock all classrooms in order to prevent the theft of any equipment from the room,” Nesci said.
According to Campus Police, Information Technology (IT) contacted Campus Police to report the theft on Feb. 16.
Jeff Philburn, Assistant Director of User Support Services, said that prior to 8 a.m. classes, faculty in Bliss Hall recognized some of the video projectors in the classrooms were missing.
After the English department was notified, a secretary from that office notified IT to explain the situation.
According to Nadine Stern, IT Chief Information Officer, the video projectors were not “easily taken.” She said the equipment has security cables which connect the projectors to the ceiling that would have needed to be cut and dismantled.
“At this time, any suspects and/or leads we may have must be kept confidential as their disclosure could impact the investigation of the case,” Nesci said.
Stern expressed concern not only over the stolen equipment but that this problem proved expensive to the College, and in turn, the student body.
According to Stern, IT, in conjunction with Campus Police, is working diligently to discuss the issues surrounding the theft and take a long-term look at the problem. She explained that although some of the security measures they are discussing implementing are more expensive, “it may be worth it in the long run.”
“We do have to do something different,” Stern said. “We don’t quite know what that something different is.”
Jo Carney, Chair of the English department, not only expressed the inconvenience the theft caused faculty, but also mentioned security issues about both classrooms and offices in Bliss that arose.
“It has been a major inconvenience even though the College managed to replace (the projectors) fairly quickly,” Carney said. “There is also the question of the vulnerability of the building.”
According to Carney, some members of the faculty feel “worrisome” about their security.
She referred to the projectors as very important to faculty who use the state-of-the-art equipment daily.
Carney also said that the policy of keeping the classroom doors locked at all times, though not a “big deal,” does cause inconvenience to students who arrive early to class.
Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, sponsors a film series in Bliss that uses classrooms on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
“Of course, if students have no access to Bliss classrooms, or if the film-showing equipment is not available, everyone who wants to see the film suffers,” Diane Steinberg, Sigma Tau Delta advisor and assistant professor of English, said.
According to Nesci, there is no additional information on the case at this time.
Stern said that her office continues to discuss this problem as well as what steps it will take to ensure the security of classroom equipment.
“We need to keep this from happening,” Stern said.