At 3 a.m. on December 27, 2007, a man and his dog entered an unlocked apartment in Brunswick Apartments where two students were sleeping. The students were woken by the dog, and sighted the man in the doorway before he exited.
The next morning, locks were installed on the outside doors of all units in all Brunswick Apartments. Although the new security measure had been planned for awhile, the intrusion on December 27 only affirmed the concerns that some students had been expressing for years.
"[Brunswick Apartments residents] didn't know who could be waiting in that space or wander in and knock on their door," Director of Residential Life Kim Pacelli said.
Forty-six locks were installed on the outside doors of the apartments, where exactly two hundred students reside this semester.
Director of Saftey and Security Randy Nichols said that he has occasionally received calls from students who were concerned about the unlocked doors.
"There were a number of instances where strangers were wandering the hallways," Nichols said.
A few students requested that peepholes be installed, and Nichols said they were installed on a case by case basis.
Pacelli said that actual locks were installed instead of ID card access points because "there's not an easy technological solution for using ID cards at that entrance."
Some students have been unreceptive to the new locks.
"Its kind of just inconvenient in my opinion," said June Lee '08.
Lee, who was never concerned with safety before the locks were added, said that her new key is "another thing I can lose or forget." She also said that the new system makes it difficult for friends to visit, because they can no longer just walk in and knock on the apartment door.
Debbie Theodore '08 has found that the keys make it inconvenient to "pop over and visit a friend," and she said that she was not concerned with safety because students have to use their ID cards to access their apartments.
"I appreciate Security and Res Life's efforts to make Bowdoin students feel safe, but I don't feel that the locks improve our safety," Theodore said.
According to security officer Adam Mayo, many students have attempted to circumvent the new security by propping open doors and taping locks. On Monday, a pipe burst in the entry way of an apartment unit after the outside door was propped open. The RAs of Brunswick Apartments sent an e-mail yesterday urging residents to use the new locks properly.
"We know that these new locks will take some time to get used to but in the end it will benefit us all," the RAs wrote.
Pacelli said that even though some students think the locks are inconvenient, they should make students feel safer.
"It's a change of pace, and some students may consider it a nuisance, but overall I think students are feeling relieved," Pacelli said.