A recent uptick in trespassers at College House parties has prompted the Department of Safety and Security and the Office of Residential Life to reinforce the safety procedures set in place to regulate crowds at such events. Security confirmed that non-Bowdoin Brunswick residents have been present at parties at Quinby, Baxter and Ladd this year.

In the early hours of the morning of October 1, Rojelio Garcia—who is currently on active duty with the U.S. Navy—was charged with criminal threatening after allegedly brandishing a knife in the direction of two Bowdoin students. The student body was notified of the incident in an email from Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols on October 2. 

“We are assuming that [Garcia] was in Baxter prior to the incident, based on the flow of traffic, but we can’t determine that for sure,” Nichols said. 

However, Garcia was not the only non-Bowdoin student or guest at the College that night. 

“We can confirm that some of the people that he was with the night the knife incident occurred were at previous College House parties, and at least one of them had returned the next night, after the knife incident,” Nichols said. 

At a campus-wide party on the Saturday night following the knife incident, Quinby members discovered four naval cadets had entered the party and were playing beer pong in the basement. At the time, students had not yet been notified of the alleged knife incident. 

“They set off several red flags to me as to whether or not they were Bowdoin students,” said President of Quinby House Lucian Black ’19, who was one of the event hosts that night. 

“They all had military haircuts, they were standing away from everybody else,” he said. “When I asked them if they were Bowdoin students, they couldn’t answer and then they tried to explain that they knew someone there and couldn’t come up with a last name or where he lived or any other relevant fact about this person. That’s when I knew to ask them to leave.”

Black and the other event hosts then escorted the men outside as the alcohol host called Bowdoin Security, who arrived promptly, followed by Brunswick Police Department.

Later that night, Black and the alcohol and event hosts debriefed with Nichols.

“We’re asking event hosts to be very cognizant as to who they’re allowing into events. If there’s ever a situation where somebody gains entrance to an event that is causing a problem or it doesn’t appear that they should be there, immediately report that incident to Security,” Nichols said. 

According to Assistant Director of Residential Life Mariana Centeno, the primary procedure to ensure a safe event is vigilant door duty, in which event hosts must request to see Bowdoin ID from every partygoer at the door. 

“People have been getting really lax with door duty, getting really lax with letting people who are not Bowdoin students into their events,” said Centeno. 

In a meeting with all College House officers on Tuesday, Nichols emphasized the importance of attentive House members guarding the door at parties.

Baxter House successfully prevented an uninvited partygoer from entering during their second campus-wide of the year in September.

“This man, who was probably in his 40s, came to the door and had glasses and a beard and definitely did not look like a student, but was holding a bag of Twisted Teas,” said Baxter House Programming Director Phoebe Bradberry ’19, who was manning the door at the time.

“He tried to walk in and we asked, ‘Can I see your OneCard?’ And he said, ‘Oh sorry I left it at the dorm, I’ll just leave.’ So then once he left, we called Security and then a couple minutes later a student came in and said that there was a creepy man outside asking directions to dorms and so they also called Security,” she said.

According to Bradberry, another incident involved alums from 2004 and 2006 arriving at an event hosted by a group using Baxter that night, but it was unclear whether or not they were the guests of students. A concerned party attendee called Security to have them escorted out as well. 

All of the trespassing incidents have involved post-college aged men. 

Emily Weyrauch contributed to this report.