Since Fiocco’s death, few safety measures have changed

Campus safety and security measures have come under scrutiny in the midst of a lawsuit over the death of College freshman John Fiocco Jr. in 2006.

The College has maintained many of its security policies and practices in residential buildings since the incident, and changes have been largely limited to the ID card and swipe access systems.

At the time of Fiocco’s death in spring 2006, the College required students to swipe into dorms between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m.  Outside of these hours, swipe access was not necessary to enter the dorms, according to Stacy Schuster, executive director of college relations. Swipe access is now activated 24 hours a day.

The desks that now sit at the entrances of the dorms between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. (3 a.m. on weekends) are situated just as they were in 2006, and the hours are the same. The process of getting past them, however, is not.

In 2006, residents proved they lived in a building by displaying their room key to the desk assistants whenever they entered at night. The keys had a dorm-specific code imprinted on them, according to Schuster. Now, residents must present their ID cards instead, and since 2008 they have been stickered on the back, with different colors representing each of the dorms.

Aside from these changes, the College’s dormitory security measures have generally remained the same. The buildings themselves have also undergone little apparent change in security.  Elevator access is now, just as it was in 2006, cut off from the bottom floors of Travers, Wolfe and Eickhoff after 8 p.m. Also, the trash chutes on each floor are the same size that they were in 2006.

Though the College would not disclose all of its specific policies for security reasons, police patrol and guest sign-in procedures are also nearly the same today as five years ago. Campus Police perform regular patrols of the campus, and according to the procedural history and statement of facts from the Fiocco lawsuit, this is consistent with their 2006 practices.

The only major change disclosed regarding police procedures came in 2008, when civilian security guards employed by Campus Police Services took on residence halls as their main responsibility.  The security guards of been have been tasked with patrolling in and around the residence halls, particularly during night hours.  This change has allowed police officers to focus on crime prevention, according to Schuster and the College’s website.

Signing in guests today consists of the same process as it did in 2006.  All guests are required to sign in at 8 p.m., even if they are already in the building, and they must provide a photo ID in exchange for a guest pass.  Additionally, just as in 2006, residents who sign guests in assume responsibility for their actions.

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