Security part of smaller numbers

Lucy Li, Features Editor

Dorms are supposed to be safe; however, there could a safety issue in Pitt-Johnstown dorms.

A sexual assault case was reported Jan. 28 by Pitt-Johnstown police. The report alleged that a female student was sexually assaulted by a non-student acquaintance in Hemlock Hall.

Unlike Pitt-Oakland or Duquesne University, none of Pitt-Johnstown’s dorms have a doorman taking IDs from non-resident visitors.

Pitt-Johnstown freshman Andrew Rissinger said that having a person take IDs from non-resident visitors would be nice.

“I think the dorms are relatively safe as they are, as long as people are conscious about the people they bring in,” Rissinger said. “But it could be a risk (not having someone take IDs from non-residents).”

Housing Director Bob Knipple said that campuses like Pitt-Oakland have a larger population, so it’s harder to identify outside visitors.

“Litchfield Towers, for example, house between 400 to 600 students, and Lothrop houses upwards of 700 students.  

“Aside from the (Living/Learning Center), which has 400 beds, our largest facility houses 168 students. 

“So, it’s much easier for our staff to know who’s coming and going,” Knipple said. 

Knipple said Pitt-Johnstown does not usually have people who come to campus unless they have campus business to conduct.

 “Many of the schools our size that have contained campuses like ours use the same approach,” he said.

According to Pitt-Johnstown’s housing policy, all non-resident overnight guests must be registered with a resident assistant of the building, and they may not stay over three consecutive days.

Knipple said that the resident assistants are supposed to enforce this policy and are relied on to report violations.

 “We always encourage our students to be aware of their surroundings, and to be especially cognizant of anyone who looks suspicious through their behavior or who they know is not a Pitt-Johnstown student,” Knipple said.

He said students should never bring an unknown person into their residence hall or leave their doors wide open.

 “Student safety and well-being are our top priorities,” he said.

“We are constantly focused on ways to further ensure the safety of our students.”

Knipple said administrators encourage students to read and employ the Security and Fire Safety Report tips.