Locks to be installed in Hopkins Hall after “peeping toms”

In light of recent cases of peeping in student residences on campus, University Housing will place locks on residential bathroom entrances at Hopkins Hall apart from public restrooms. Locks will be installed Thursday in female bathrooms and Friday in male bathrooms.

Residents were informed in an e-mail sent by Melanie Pridemore, Hopkins Hall residence director. In the e-mail, Pridemore said the locks will be keyed so males have access to men’s bathrooms and females to women’s bathrooms. Opposite gender guests must use public restrooms located on the first floor. The keys will be issued separately from room keys and will be treated the same way as regular keys — that is, only the holder will be allowed to use the key.

“Possibly the most important thing to remember about these locks is that they are being installed as a security measure and, much like our exterior security doors, are only a valid security measure if all residents take steps to ensure they are used properly,” Pridemore said in the e-mail.

T.J. Fritz, freshman in Business and Hopkins Hall resident, said he had felt its bathrooms were not secure enough.

“Obviously, having gender locks is better for security,” he said. “Guys can just stay to the guys’ locker room; girls can stay to the girls’.”

As the locks are being installed, access to certain bathrooms will be restricted. According to the e-mail, doors should never be propped open, and students are encouraged to ensure doors close upon exiting.

Fritz also said the doors propped open automatically when opened all the way, something which did little to hinder a peeping intruder. Jack Collins, director of University Housing, denied this before plans to lock the bathrooms in Hopkins Hall were finalized.

Jeannette Pilat, a foreign exchange student in Business and Hopkins Hall resident, said she wasn’t too worried about the bathrooms being locked up, even with the recent peeping incidents.

“It’s not that I feel insecure, but I do feel that there should be some kind of outer protection,” Pilat said.

Hopkins Hall residents may pick up their keys at 108 Hopkins Hall on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Those who are unable to pick up a key during or prior to this time may arrange to pick it up at Garner Hall. Residents should also alert their resident advisor if they cannot pick up a key during this time.