“I walked out of the kitchen and saw her walking out of the alcove where my room is without a mask and a cigarette in her hand. She stopped for a second and then started walking down the hall away from me. She was walking and looking side to side rapidly like she was looking for something and shaking her head at the same time,” said Sophomore Jr Hentges, who lives in Emerson.
Associate Director of Safety and Security Cheryl Michaels, emailed the SPU community on Tuesday evening acknowledging two separate unauthorized residence hall entries on Monday night.
The first entry was in Emerson Hall, “The RA brought her outside and I didn’t see her after,” Hentges said.
Freshman computer science major Ryan Watson said the woman knocked on his door and he had said ‘come in’, assuming it was someone he knew. When no one entered, he and his roommate, freshman biochem major Alessandro Rizzi, got up to figure out who had knocked.
“As we were walking towards the door, someone opens our door and it’s this old lady that neither of us recognize,” said Watson.
After looking around their dorm for a minute, she left and closed the door.
“Alessandro and I were really confused so Alessandro went to open the door to tell our RA and we saw our RA walking her out of the door,” Watson said.
William Reed, Director of Security, said the woman was able to enter because a water bottle was holding the 6th A venue door open.
Michaels’ email cautioned students to not prop open doors and keep their doors and windows locked whenever they leave their room.
The second entry occurred in Hill Hall shortly after midnight.
“We were actually still talking to [the trespasser in Emerson] when the other situation happened,” Reed said.
According to Reed, the man who entered Hill was seen by OSS earlier that day carrying a club by the bookstore.
“We had gone to talk to him down there, but he had moved on. At some point he left his club behind and walked through campus toward Moyer and Marston,” Reed said. “[He] went up through the library-Martin square area and then showed up at Hill.
“We got a call from individuals at Hill saying, ‘hey there’s a guy up here who’s gotten in the building and he’s making us very nervous,’ so we responded up there to talk to him.”
OSS was able to get to Hill within three minutes of the call. The man came into the lobby and went into the bathroom outside the rec room, but he never went into the residence halls.
“We went to meet him, and we asked if we could talk to him and he just ran; he ran out of the building and ran off the campus,” Reed said. “We never really got a chance to talk to him.”
According to Michaels, the man was able to enter the building by following a student through the entrance. The Seattle Police were called but did not follow him after he left campus.
“We actually encountered the woman [on campus] before we knew about the situation in Emerson Hall. We saw her as someone who appeared to be having a mental health crisis,” Reed said. “Seattle has community services to help people, or they try to. Those are currently made available through the police department. Ultimately she decided she didn’t want to do that.”
Reed said that he understands why these types of events take place in communal places because he used to live in Ashton.
“You get to know the friends on your floor, and you trust everyone, and they trust you,” Reed said. “It feels like home, but there are distinct differences between home because in a communal living environment no one takes individual responsibility usually.”
Reed said that SPU and the hall staff cannot do everything, so student cooperation is needed but in residence halls it is not clear who has the responsibility to take care of each task.
Reed concluded ironically, “‘It’s not my job to close the outside door’, right?”