Sophomore Removed From Campus

BY COLE McNANNA // Feb. 16, 2018 //

Sophomore Psychology major, Michela Flowers, the subject of some of the first hate crimes reported on campus, was removed from campus Thursday following an expression of her frustration.

Ever since a note was left on her car, Flowers had been meeting with Student Affairs, Public Safety as well as the Diversity Coordinator in order to create change on campus. However, with not much change to show, Flowers was losing hope in those in charge of the school.

One of the movements Flowers was trying to push was a more lenient parking policy, citing she felt unsafe walking the campus after already being the target of a hate crime.

She mentioned that Thursday, she was running late to class after being in Health Services dealing with a stomach bug. Flowers said the Mayflower lot was closed off to those without a pass and she ended up parking in the Public Safety parking lot, earning her a $50 fine when she got out of class.

“I came back from class with a ticket. I got in my car, with all my windows down, and played ‘F— The Police,’” Flowers stated.

She explained that Director of Public Safety, Paul King, came outside and pointed over his shoulder, meaning to keep it down for the neighbors.

“So I turned up my music,” said Flowers. “He mocked me before I rolled up my window, so I played the music louder.”

After that, she left to go back to her room before having to come back for another class later on. She again pulled into the PS parking lot, playing the same song. However, as she turned out of 940 Brush Hill Road, a Milton Police Officer pulled her over, handing her a $55 noise complaint ticket.

In addition, he informed Michela that she was to leave campus and not return until the Student Conduct Office got in touch with her to schedule a meeting.

Chief King confirmed the events but was unable to delve deeper into details due to the case’s open nature.

Flowers ended up staying the night at a friend’s house in nearby Taunton before receiving a phone call from Director of Student Conduct, Melissa DeGrandis, confirming her Tuesday afternoon meeting.

However, before that meeting in four days, Flowers was on the schedule at her off-campus job in Westwood which she will be unable to attend since the necessary belongings are still in her room.

“It’s like the system doesn’t care that these are real people with real-life situations,” Flowers noted.

The news was first reported on Facebook, with senior Samuel Piscitelli posting a message compiled by student activists with whom Michela was working with to create change.

Flowers Note
Credit: Samuel Piscitelli’s post in Curry College Class of 2018’s Facebook page

Piscitelli mentioned that the group had been growing as more and more found out about what happened.

That was put on display by the amount of re-posts and shares that the note got across social media platforms.

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

 

Public Safety Increases Surveillance Cameras on Campus

BY STEVEN SOUSA // Feb. 1, 2018 //

Theft, vandalism, and assault incidents have riddled the campus of Curry College and Public Safety has taken a step towards minimizing the frequency of those events.

That first stride was taken Aug. 28, 2017, when surveillance cameras were placed around campus, providing PS new perspectives to monitor crime.

16 brand-new cameras were strategically placed on the perimeter of the campus with one additionally looking at each gate. 886 Brush Hill Road, Scholars Hall, South Campus Residence Hall and Bell Hall all also feature a camera around the backside of each building.

In December, the school added four new cameras surveilling two of the more obscure and smaller dorms on the school’s north side campus.  Two cameras were installed on the exterior of Rose Hall, along with another two monitoring 874 Brush Hill Road.

The school intends to monitor the locations where incidents have taken place in the past but recognize many occurrences have happened all over campus.

Director of Public Safety, Paul King, indicated the camera installation project is “multi-phased,” and that the perimeter vantage points are just the beginning.

“As we continue to build the camera infrastructure, we are planning for additional exterior locations and looking at the possibility of implementing cameras inside buildings,” said King.

That step was taken in wake of the recent biased related incidents inside 886 Brush Hill Road. Two hallways now have the cameras set up on a temporary basis to monitor any further actions of hate.

Placing cameras within buildings runs a fine line on the right of privacy that the school will have to balance on. The college has already implemented a policy on Security Cameras as one of their Health and Safety Disclosures.

The policy for Responsible Installation and Use of Video Security Cameras on Campus reads, “Cameras shall not be installed in areas where individuals have a reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy, such as private offices, spaces dedicated to health and counseling services, residence hall rooms, locker rooms, bathrooms, and classrooms.”

So far there has been nothing to report and the cameras have provided students with some level of comfort and protection on campus.  Junior Brooke Thurber, a mid-campus resident, definitely feels better with a few cameras in the area.

“I’m glad that the school has done something to finally try to prevent certain kinds of incidents from happening on campus,” said Thurber.

In addition to eventually inflating the number of cameras on campus, King also has the authority to install cameras on a temporary basis, which he used in 886. However, in order to do so, he first had to consult with either Vice President of Student Affairs, Maryellen Kiley, or the Vice President of Finance, Eric Norman.

One instance that King said he could use his temporary veto for is when a large crowd is expected at an event on campus. In addition, he can also boost surveillance in an area that was subject to multiple incidents.

There will be no live monitoring of the camera feed but King said that he and his Public Safety staff will be checking the footage “on a frequent basis.”

King joined the Public Safety squad as the Chief in May of 2017 and has experience installing video-monitoring equipment. He noted that these cameras are not a reaction to last year’s incidents and that this project has been discussed prior to the 2016-2017 school year.

The school’s end goal is to increase the overall safety of its students and faculty with this new security system.

“We believe that the use of security cameras on campus will serve as one mean of deterring and resolving a range of issues and incidents that may occur on a college campus,” said King.

He mentioned that a college campus is not the only place where incidents like this happen, however, “as they also occur in society as a whole,” King concluded.

Sprinkler Systems Flood SCRH, Damage Rooms

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // OCT. 31, 2017 //

Flooding in South Campus Residence Hall due to an activated sprinkler system sent students scrambling to find dry ground.

On Sunday, October 29, students were startled by screeching sirens at approximately 12:32 a.m.

Upon arrival, Public Safety determined that a fire sprinkler system was set off in a third-floor suite, sending water rushing down the main stairwell and into the rooms of residents in the affected areas.

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Some ceiling tiles appear to have water marks and damage from the sprinkler flooding // image credit: Christianna Casaletto ’18

Dom Ramasci, a junior criminal justice major and resident of SCRH, saw the flooding firsthand.

“I was leaving the building and as I approached the main stairwell, I heard gushing water,” he explained. “I entered the stairwell and saw water pouring out of a pipe. Gallons of water were flowing into the hallway and down the stairs.”

Milton Fire Department arrived shortly after and shut off water activated by the system.

However, due to safety concerns, it wasn’t until after 3:00 a.m. that students were allowed to return into the residence hall.

One of the main concerns is that water damage would cause electrical issues and Public Safety deemed it unsafe for students to stay in the affected rooms until a proper inspection was completed.

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Roommates Amanda Paul ’18 and Kelsey Tagen ’18 had to move all items off their floors and set up fans to dry the damp carpets // image credit: Kelsey Tagen ’18

According to Public Safety and Residence Life, 27 students experienced room damage. These students were asked to stay elsewhere for up to 48 hours for inspection and cleanup. Additionally, students unable to find a place to stay for the night were given temporary housing accommodations.

However, Building and Grounds assessed and repaired damage, and on Sunday afternoon all impacted students were able to return to their rooms. B&G additionally provided dehumidifiers and fans to help dry rooms and will replace mattresses if necessary.

The College is currently accommodating nine students whose rooms will need additional repair in the coming weeks.

“All of these students were offered temporary housing, however only two have decided to relocate,” explained Director of Public Safety, Paul King.

Senior nursing major Laura Ferris, a student in one of the affected rooms, said that her room is still in the process of drying and that additional school provided features had been damaged.

“Our Wi-Fi box in our room broke because of the water damage so now we don’t have Wi-Fi in our suite,” said Ferris.

What many students are still unaware of is the cause of the water flow.

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Students still have significant water damage to their rooms, such as this water bubble // image credit: Laura Ferris ’18

Rumored causes include student error activating the sprinkler system, faulty pipes bursting, and a combination of the two; although all of these speculations have not been confirmed.

While the official cause of the fire sprinkler system activation is still under investigation, Director King stated that “the College is not aware of any problems with the building’s pipe system.”

Milton Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Daley was unable to go into significant detail because the “incident is still under investigation.”

“However, I can tell you that the Milton Fire Department responded to an activated sprinkler in [SCRH],” said Deputy Chief Daley.

Students were advised to report any damaged personal items and were informed that claims for reimbursement should be done through personal Renter’s Insurance or Home Owner’s Insurance.

The students in the affected rooms received a similar email from Residence Life Sunday afternoon.

Shauna Nickerson, a senior nursing major and one of the affected students, experienced a similar situation her freshman year when heavy snowfall and subsequent melting caused a leak in her dorm room.

ferris room
Buildings and Grounds advised students in affected rooms to move all of their belongings to a dry area and allow the carpets to completely dry // image credit: Laura Ferris ’18

“My freshman year it took about a month for me to be able to live in my room again and I didn’t receive any updates,” said Nickerson. “This time around they notified me of the situation and let me reoccupy my room in a timely manner.”

However, Nickerson, like many students, is still frustrated that a cause has not yet been determined or revealed.

“I know the water damage my freshman year was due to weather, but it’s frustrating that residents this year don’t even know how the water [flooding] began.”

Nicole Harkins, a senior psychology major, says that the ceiling of her suite has a crack in it but is just thankful the damage to her suite wasn’t worse.

“It’s frustrating but ours isn’t as bad as other people so I understand why they’re concerned with repairing those suites first,” Harkins noted.

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

Sexual Assault Reported on Campus

BY COLE McNANNA // Oct. 24 2017 //

An alleged sexual assault occurred early Sunday morning on Curry College campus.

The incident is currently under investigation by Public Safety and Milton Police Department. Alleged assailant(s) are currently unknown.

The alleged incident occurred Sunday Oct. 22, around 2:30 a.m. by the basketball courts on Blue Jay Way. The report was submitted Monday evening, Oct. 23, by a third-party who was not present at the time of the assault.

The group of Curry students stated “they were reporting the incident on behalf of the alleged victim who told them what had happened,” according to an email sent out by Public Safety Director Paul King Tuesday afternoon.

No further details were able to be provided from either PS or MPD but any and every bit of information can help their investigation. Public Safety can be reached at any time at 617-333-2222 and Milton PD’s general line is 617-698-3800. The crime tip hotline for MPD can be reached at 617-698-COPS (2677).

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

Director of Public Safety Addresses Campus Concerns

BY LUCAS FERREIRA // Sept. 30, 2017 //

After last week’s SGA meeting left many lingering questions following the shooting of a Georgia Tech student, the Director of Public Safety clarified a few of them.

Interviewed last week following the recent killing of Scout Schultz and an assault in Hyde Park, Paul King, a 34-year law enforcement veteran, disclosed what steps Public Safety would take in the tragic event of a school shooting.

King mentioned in a conversation on Thursday that their first step would be immediately getting in touch with the Milton Police Department. After that, PS would lead and assist the evacuation of buildings, initiate lockdown procedures and send emergency notifications to all community members.

In addition to the protocol, should an intruder attempt to storm a classroom, Curry College has equipped both the Milton and Plymouth campuses with “No Entry Pouch” safety kits. These pouches are placed under the door in order to keep it lodged shut and intruders out.

Director King also expressed that PS is open and willing to hold a discussion with students regarding these issues and thoughts.

He confirmed that “Public Safety is always open to engaging with the community we serve, including students, faculty, and staff.”

King added that part of that service includes the recent addition of security cameras installed around campus as well as Public Safety’s relocation to 940 Brush Hill Road.

“I am a big believer in community policing, and I plan to engage with our community and work with them to solve problems that impact our community,” King stated.

Part of that engagement will include a partnership with students to get them hands-on training.

“In the future, Public Safety plans to explore providing student internship and other programming opportunities that increase engagement with our officers and the community,” King mentioned, signaling a want for a closer relationship with students and faculty on campus.

PS maintains a close, working relationship with multiple branches of law enforcement near the campus’ immediate surroundings including Massachusetts State Police.

An open forum with Public Safety officers and Director King could not only ease tensions concerning student safety on Curry’s campus, but it could also open the topic of discussion for other hot-topics circling around.

For instance, the recent Public Forum on Sept. 29 in Westhaver Park involving President Quigley and Curry students covered the recent bias-related incidents that have occurred on campus and attracted several local news outlets’ attention.

A meeting with Public Safety could also address concerns raised by the Sept. 20 Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, broaching the topic of Scout Schultz’ shooting at Georgia Tech on Sept. 17.

Paul King reminds students that while Curry College is a facility protected 24/7, vigilance and communication with Public Safety regarding strange or uncommon behavior should be reported immediately to Public Safety (617) 333-2222.