Mar 082011
 
Authors: Allison Sylte

Despite a third peeping tom incident in recent months, there have been no proposed change to current safety policy in campus locker rooms, except for campus police recommendations advising students to “be alert.”

“CSUPD regularly reviews best practices [in responding to such incidents] from both a pro and reactive perspective,” said CSU Police Chief Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt in an e-mail to the Collegian. “We will continue to do that in respect to this situation; however, no specific physical changes are being planned at the current time.”

The two locker rooms where the incidents were reported are located in the Moby B and C wings. According to campus recreation employees, these locker rooms are “fairly underused.”

During the afternoons, in a policy pre-dating the peeping tom incidents, they can only be unlocked by the employee on duty.

The locker rooms are under shared jurisdiction between the Health and Exercise Sciences Department and Campus Recreation and are mainly used during the day by students taking HES classes and student athletes.

According to Cody Frye, the assistant director of facilities for Campus Recreation, coaches and the equipment room employee for HES monitor entry into and out of the locker room. And though it doesn’t receive a good deal of use during the evening, it “receives quite a bit of use during the day.”

Employees at both the Campus Recreation Center and Moby were briefed by campus police and told to stay vigilant in following their safety procedures, which vary significantly between the two facilities.

At the Campus Recreation Center, according to Recreation Supervisor Matt Van Goethem, employees walk through the locker rooms every “10-15 minutes,” partially to look for any potentially suspicious activity.

In Moby, these walkthroughs are not nearly as frequent, according to Frye, and only generally occur when a campus recreation employee is working.
“When campus recreation is in charge of the facilities, it’s a very controlled environment,” Frye said. “It’s tough to say this at other times simply because it’s a shared facility.”

But, according to Gracie Wood –– a recreation assistant who mans the Moby equipment desk in the afternoon ––, walkthroughs of Moby locker rooms are completed once or twice per shift, given that only one employee other than the lifeguards is on duty.

“I think that this is a fairly realistic policy,” Wood said. “It’s always important to be on the lookout for anyone putting students in danger. It’s not just our job it’s everyone’s job.”

The peeping tom incidents were reported at 1:40 p.m. on March 4, 11:10 a.m. on Feb. 21 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 28, times in which a campus recreation employee is not on duty.

The Moby B-Wing women’s locker room is located at the far end of Moby and consists of what Wood referred to as “a very good place to hide.”
Rich-Goldschmidt agrees with this sentiment, saying that, “When individuals believe they have a good level of concealment that may help them remain in an area undetected, they may be more likely to seek out those locations.”

The investigation into the peeping toms is ongoing, and there is no evidence at this time as to whether it was the same person in each instance.
There are a variety of possibilities as to how the peeping tom will be charged, according to Rich-Goldschmidt, including charges of unlawful sexual assault and trespassing.

In the event that the peeping tom is a student, CSUPD will work with the Division of Student Affairs to discuss other possible sanctions.
In the meantime, CSUPD has posted signs in all locker rooms on campus advising students to be vigilant.

“The guidelines are similar to the myriad of crime prevention measures we often promote. The first and foremost is to be aware of your surroundings,” Rich-Goldschmidt said. “Always listen to that little voice –– it’s there for a reason and all too often we tune it out.”

New Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.

‘Tom’ Descriptions

March 4
The suspect was described as a white, college-aged male. He is about 5’ 7’’ with a medium but very toned build. He was wearing blue jeans, a short-sleeved grey t-shirt and carrying a grey sweater. He was wearing white Nike tennis shoes with a dark blue or purple “Nike swoosh.” He had short, medium-brown hair.

Feb. 21
The suspect was described as a college-aged white male with long, straight black hair, wearing a white or light-grey t-shirt and black shorts.

Jan. 28
The suspect was described as six feet tall with a slender build and short brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a brownish-tan camouflage shirt.

Anyone with information should contact CSUPD at 970-491-6425.

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