Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Students Express Concerns About Lack of Safety Notifications Following Dorm Intrusion

Students voiced concerns about the lack of public safety threat notifications after an intruder entered a residence hall Feb. 16.

The Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) responded to a report of an intruder — whom they identified as an individual previously barred from campus — in Loyola Xavier Ryder (LXR) Hall at 6:28 p.m. Feb. 16. The following morning, GUPD Chief of Police Jay Gruber  sent an email to LXR residents about the intrusion. The university did not send a HOYAlert, a message sent to the Georgetown community with guidance in the event of a threat, at any point. 

Brady Stallman (NHS ’24), an LXR resident, saw the intruder in the lobby twice over the course of 45 minutes.  

“I came back from Yates, and there’s this dude just chilling by the printer in our lobby and he’s just mumbling to himself. It was kind of weird, but I didn’t do anything about it,” Stallman said in an interview with The Hoya. “I went up to my room to shower and stuff. I came back down to pick up my order from Wiseys, and there were five GUPD officers around him holding him down and putting cuffs on him.” 

Stallman said that the intruder being in the building for almost an hour before their arrest raises concerns about potential harm that could have been afflicted during that time. 

“If he was a threat, he could have done whatever he wanted. He could have hopped on the elevator and gone up to whatever floor he wanted to,” Stallman said. “My faith in dorm security is not very high.” 

Since the beginning of the academic school year, multiple intruders have broken into campus buildings and the university has sent out belated notifications, notifications only to students in affected residence halls, or no notification at all. 

Katie Sullivan (COL ’24), another LXR resident, saw the intruder when she entered the building after returning from dinner. 

Sullivan, who saw her friend try to escort the intruder out of the building, said that students were not made aware of the intrusion and that no communication about the incident circulated immediately in student group chats either.

“I only know because I saw the guy and I saw my friend take him out,” Sullivan said. “I’ve just been talking to my friend, and in the actual LXR group chat nobody has been talking about it.”

Hoya Housing | An intruder entered LXR residence hall Feb. 16, and students were not notified until an email was sent to LXR residents the next morning, inciting concern about safety notifications among students.

Justin English (COL ’24), who was in LXR at the time of the intrusion and subsequent arrest, had no idea that there was a threat to student safety.  

“I was in my residence, the restroom and in the 2nd floor common room,” English wrote in an email to The Hoya. “There was zero indication that something was going on while I was there alone in the building.”

English only became aware of the incident after the university sent an email to LXR residents over 15 hours after the intruder entered the building. 

“I think that the university failed student’s safety,” English wrote. “The fact that someone was there in the building with zero indication of caution for residents is terrifying.”

English said that the university should have notified students as soon as GUPD was  aware of the intrusion. 

“If someone with violent intent had entered the residence and there was no warning during the time between the police being notified and responding to the incident, people would get hurt in those precious minutes beforehand,” English wrote. “I think that the university could have notified us sooner of the incident and sent out a soft caution notice as the event was being looked into.”

According to a university spokesperson, the university is increasing training for residence hall guards and responds to potential threats in a timely manner.

“The safety of our community is our top priority,” the spokesperson wrote. “When there is an increase in safety incidents anywhere on campus, GUPD increases patrols out of an abundance of caution and takes appropriate steps to respond to ensure the safety of the community.”

Stallman said that students are forced to relay safety threats to each other because of the university’s failure to provide timely notifications. 

“I have no faith in them letting me know of an incident as it’s happening or shortly after it happened,” Stallman said. “Peer communication seems to be very timely and way more effective than GUPD communication.”

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