Security policies at campus buildings are under review by the university after a professor was hospitalized with head injuries caused during a robbery inside his Anderson Hall office on Oct. 29.
The suspect, Darryl Moon, 45, was arrested in North Philadelphia on Oct. 31 and charged with robbery and aggravated assault, among other offenses.
In the aftermath of the incident, which occurred in a building with a security officer posed at the front entrance, Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said changes within the academic buildings can be expected by next fall.
“We are revisiting all of the buildings, Anderson and Glatfelter [halls] in particular,” Leone said. “I have extra security in there now. We are particularly looking at those doors on the mezzanine level that a lot of folks like to use as an exit and then people piggyback in.”
The suspect was recorded by video surveillance coming out of Anderson Hall through the mezzanine doors, however, because the area isn’t entirely within view of cameras, police have not determined how he gained entrance.
Leone said in order to better police this area, the possibility of a one-exit, one-entrance policy could be initiated.
Students said the doors on the mezzanine, which are locked from the outside, are often used by students leaving class and held open as a courtesy.
Psychology junior Romalyn Cease expressed concern regarding the lack of security alongside the entrances through the mezzanine levels outside Anderson Hall.
“Sometimes there were security guards stationed at the second floor, but they weren’t always watching the door,” Cease said. “They would see people go through the doors, but they didn’t seem to care.”
Cease also said most students ignore the warning about letting people in through the second-floor doorways.
Leone said changes to the entrance will be discussed by CSS, including a possible future setup similar to the TECH Center or Morgan Hall, where students would have to swipe their Temple IDs to enter.
“Everything from policy procedures to physical changes are all on the table,” Leone said, adding that work to achieve these modifications has already begun.
“We have already had university locksmiths looking into the doors to see the best way that we can secure them,” Leone said.
Dustin Som, a kinesiology senior, said he does not believe security has handled the issue at Anderson Hall properly.
“Coming from North Philly, I wasn’t surprised that an assault can happen,” Som said. “However, I don’t see them doing anything to prevent this from happening again.”
Some students shared Som’s sentiments, fearing the worst-case scenario.
“As a graduate student, I am mostly in school throughout the whole day,” Maryam Golalikhani, a fourth-year Ph.D Physics student, said. “You are always scared of being alone.”
Still, Leone said any changes are coming at a time when the campus crime rate dropped approximately 15 percent from 2012.
“I could tell people till I am blue in the face that crime is down, but when something like this happens it doesn’t matter because people see what they see and feel what they feel,” Leone said.
Cindy Stansbury and Edward Barrenechea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.