Students were welcomed back to classes yesterday with freezing temperatures and the increasing crime wave plaguing campus this year. Another peeping tom incident, the 12th since October 2001, happened in South Quad Residence Hall yesterday morning.

An LSA freshman was showering when she heard someone come in the bathroom and saw her towel move.

“There was a shadow in the stall next to me,” she said. “I looked down and there was someone’s face.”

Although she was not wearing her glasses, the victim described the victim as a young black male.

Last month, University Housing in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety introduced new safety precautions in the residence halls after noticing a growing pattern of peeping tom incidents and home invasions. The precautions included locking all entrances 24-hours-a-day and increasing the presence of DPS officers. Still, there have been three incidents in the three weeks since the precautions were introduced.

Engineering freshman Dana Badeen said she does not believe locked doors will prevent crime activity from occurring.

“If anybody wants to get in, the door locks aren’t going to stop them. … I wouldn’t mind showing my ID at the door if it would keep someone from looking at me in the shower,” she said.

LSA freshman Erica Irland said the recent crimes have made her more cautious.

“In the beginning of the year, I wasn’t as careful,” Irland said. “When I shampoo, I’m afraid to shut my eyes. A lot of the other girls I talk to know what I’m talking about.”

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown defended the department’s efforts saying crime prevention is a collective responsibility which involves the officers, faculty and students.

“There is only so much that a public safety department or university can do,” she said. “They can only go so far particularly in a place that values community responsibility.”

Brown said that, while there has been a rise in incidents, people are giving more accurate descriptions of suspects and suspicious people.

“Thieves are willing to be seen,” she said.

Brown also said that, despite the rise, most of the incidents have fortunately not involved a person getting harmed.

“It is alarming that we have had a number of incidents, but most of these incidents have been against property,” she said.

DPS Director William Bess said the department is addressing students concerns and is working hard to crackdown on crime. But, he said there can always be change, especially if students continue to complain about a lack of security.

“Maybe we need to be a little more aggressive,” he said. “We can always improve the behavior of residents and the collaborative efforts of crime prevention.”

Irland also said she felt that security was “doing pretty much everything they can.”

“Girls should make sure the door is shut and lock their room whey they are sleeping,” she said, adding that roommates sometimes cause problems.

“There are people we know that have trouble with roommates leaving the door unlocked.”

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