By Brooke Hill | News Editor
The Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts building is using a stricter lock down procedure at night following a man spending the night in the building over the summer.
Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil said the police department received a call on the morning of July 27 saying there was someone in the building who looked like he didn’t belong there. A couple of officers went over to the building to look for the man, but didn’t find him. Around 3 p.m. they received another call saying he was back.
BUPD sent two officers to scope out the scene again, with one remaining outside. The officers received a better description and an officer saw the suspect walking outside of the building and stopped him.
Adam Redmer, technical director, said the building had card access doors for students in the front and side that are locked all weekend, with one locking at 7 p.m. and the other at 11 p.m., and all of the theatres are locked following nighttime rehearsals as well. Redmer said before the visitor, they didn’t lock every possible door and now they do.
“There was a guy that came in one night and spent the night and was asked to leave the next afternoon,” Redmer said. “We did [enforce the new stricter system] because of him.”
Wigtil said the man had no affiliation with Baylor. He said the man did take a pair of shoes and a T-Shirt, but the owners did not want to press charges — they just wanted him out of the building.
The police gave him a criminal trespass warning, which is a class B misdemeanor in Texas.
“When we get reports from our community that there may be an individual in a building that shouldn’t have been… we’ll typically increase patrols in that area,” Wigtil said.
The man was not a resident of Texas. Wigtil said the man did have a car, and the police have the car information to look out for it around campus, but he has not returned.
“Keeping our community safe, I like to call it a partnership,” Wigtil said. “We work hard to do our part… but I need the community to work hard to do their part. If they see any suspicious activities or persons or maybe safety issues — maybe even a crime in progress — to give us a call so we can go and take care of that and do our job and keep our community safe. Theres’ about 17,000 enrolled students and maybe 2,000 to 3,000 staff — that’s about 20,000 people. So what I’d like to take advantage of that set of 20,000 extra eyes and ears that can help get us information so that we can handle these things, and, in a sense, remove an opportunity for any type of crime to occur.”
Plano sophomore Claire Gustafson is a studio art major who spends many late nights in Hooper Schaefer. She said most art students are actually frustrated by the tightened security.
“It’s uncomfortable, but frankly most of us are just ranting about the fact that we have to slide in,” Gustafson said.