TW: This article contains graphic content.
Following the death of a 33-year-old Cambridge man last Wednesday at 33 Harry Agganis Way, a Boston University residence hall, BU students voiced concerns about student safety and security in on-campus housing.
The man, who was not affiliated with the University, entered StuVi II Wednesday, Feb. 15 before 11:30 p.m. BU Police Department responded to the scene at 11:26 p.m. after receiving a call from a student, according to BUPD’s crime logs.
BU Spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in an email that the 33-year-old man went by the StuVi II security station on the first floor, and took the elevator.
“The individual involved in the incident made his way into the student residence apparently without being noticed and took an elevator to the top floor,” Riley wrote. “BUPD officers responded after a call from a student.”
Riley also confirmed that two BU employees were placed on administrative leave as a result of the incident last Wednesday.
“The University is conducting a formal investigation, is reviewing and assessing residential security and two employees were placed on administrative leave after the initial investigation,” he wrote. “Additional improvements and changes, both short and long-term, will be made as a result.”
In Oct. 2015, two Massachusetts Institute of Technology students entered 11 unlocked rooms in StuVi II, The Daily Free Press reported in 2016. One of the MIT students sexually assaulted a sleeping resident who later sued the University, claiming that it failed to provide secure on-campus housing and did not protect her from sexual harassment.
Some current BU students shared their concerns and opinions about safety in on-campus housing following last Wednesday’s incident.
Francise Au, a junior in the College of Communication, said her perspective on BU’s campus safety has changed.
“I don’t feel like it’s pretty safe anymore,” Au said. “If a random man is able to get into our buildings with a lot of students who currently live there, I just don’t think that’s really well secured.”
Au said she thinks security in BU residences have room for improvement considering how much on-campus housing costs.
“We pay a lot of money every year to live here, especially in StuVi because it’s one of the most expensive buildings on campus,” she said. “You’d think [StuVi] security would be a lot better.”
Reet Singh, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and resident of Myles Standish Hall, said she has noticed that some dorm security guards are more observant than others.
“I feel like there are so many inconsistencies with how security handles things,” Singh said. “I started observing the guards’ behaviors more ever since the situation because I just want to make sure — are these guards trustworthy enough, like are they actually ensuring our safety?”
Singh said although she has noticed that dorm security guards are more attentive recently, she thinks BU should strengthen its security protocols.
“The situation could have been avoided and it’s sad that something like this had to happen for security guards to be more wary,” she said.
Madeline Matonti, a junior in the CAS, said in her experience, BU dorm security has always been stricter regarding security than other colleges in Boston.
“BU security, in my opinion, has always been incredible,” Matonti said. “The fact that [BU security is] so strict with it normally… it baffles me that this happened.”
Matonti said what happened at StuVi II made her question how safe she and other students are in on-campus housing.
“What if this man had the intent of harming other people?” she said. “The whole instance, I feel, now shows everyone that this is possible if you think about it enough and that’s what’s frightening.”
Matonti said she hopes BU increases dorm security to help students feel safe in their residences.
“The whole thing, it never should have happened,” Matonti said. “None of it should have been possible from beginning to end.”
CORRECTION: This article previously stated two unescorted MIT students entered StuVi II in 2015. The students were signed in by a resident.
What happened to the man ?
How did he die?
This is the first thing on the article I read about this incident and I can’t tell what happened.
A man jumped from the top of StuVi2 on 2/15
Thanks for you info and link,
Now all the rumors, speculations and assumptions can be put to rest. We have an answer. It has been addressed and hoping more protocols are put in place in all BU buildings to keep our Terriers as safe as possible.
BU should just consider prohibiting all non-on-campus residences from entering all the residences, all those buildings like bay state and south campus should do the same protocol
You realize that your request includes you, siblings, cousins, all relatives and even friends from home from visiting dorms?
It’s a double edged sword – kids want to be safe but also sneak people in from outside or have their current significant other or hookup let in without having to sign them in. This is also a safety problem which gets ignored in lieu of what usually ends up to be for hooking up.
I haven’t been inside that dorm – don’t you need to tap your card to go through the gate? Or did they remove that in lieu of AC and high cost?
BU going back 20 years has had better security than many other local colleges – BC had a spate of sexual assaults in the dorms by non students, guess they don’t put that on the website hub?
I am concerned about the individual who died, the lack of information about him or concern for him and his loved ones. I hope BU can model more compassion- we are all interconnected and this death is a tragedy. The fears students expressed regarding the potential of a mass shooting is also important — it’s not so much about the individual as our collective grief and anxiety about violence (which most often occurs between people who know each other). I’m a little taken aback that strangers in residence halls is a bigger concern than the lost life of an individual in our community.