Robberies in Residence Halls

BY KILEY FARRELL // APRIL 17, 2015 //

A group of Curry students took part in a game of “manhunt” Sunday evening, April 12, on the south side of campus. Little did they know things would turn into a real-life investigation.

During the game—a combination of “hide and go seek” and tag—junior Tyler Koning, a communication major, saw a group of young people behind SCRH. One of them had just jumped out of a common room window. A pair of Curry students confronted the strangers, and one of them instantly ran away with what turned out to be a stolen cellphone.

Public Safety was contacted. According to Chief Brian Greeley, Public Safety then contacted the Milton Police Department. Ultimately, the five young people were allowed to leave campus because Milton Police decided a crime was not committed. None of them were in possession of stolen property.

PHOTO BY HEATHER, creative commons
PHOTO BY HEATHER, creative commons

This was not the first robbery from a student residence hall. On March 31, students reported two separate incidents, at 886 and Suites, in which property was stolen through open windows. Public Safety notified the campus community, and asked students to take greater precautions, including locking first-floor windows. Another on-campus robbery also occurred in early November.

“I personally think that Public Safety needs to start focusing more on having coverage around each gate on campus, rather than wasting time in residence halls,” said junior Sammie Jacobs, a management major. “The other night really opened my eyes because it never occurred to me how unsafe we all can be until I personally experienced the incident. We’re lucky just a phone got stolen, and no one got hurt.”

According to students familiar with Sunday night’s investigation, the young people were from Hyde Park and simply walked onto campus at around 9 p.m. The fact the trespassers were allowed to leave campus without consequence bothered a number of Curry students.

“Regardless of their age, and whether they were minors or not, PS still should’ve done something—instead of allowing them to just walk away with no punishment, leaving them to feel like they can just do it again,” said junior Shannon Hickey, a nursing major.

In an interview this week, Greeley said the kids would be immediately arrested if found on the campus again.

“Just like most colleges, we have several entrances and exits,” he said. “We can control who comes on campus in automobiles, however, we rely on our college—such as students, faculty, etc.—to realize if something doesn’t look right so they can call Public Safety, and we can check it out.

“Public safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Greeley added, “therefore we want everyone to be involved.”

Parking Fines Have Students Fuming

BY ANDREW PENACHO // DEC. 18, 2014 //

Students are rarely pleased with the parking situation at Curry College. Specifically, they routinely complain about a perceived lack of parking spots, as well as rules that restrict where on campus they can park.

However, it’s the high cost of parking tickets that has students most fuming.

“The parking tickets at Curry are too high,” said Patrick England, a sophomore management major. “I paid a lot to park my car here. There is no reason why I can’t park where I want.”

PHOTO BY AARON VAN DORN // CREATIVE COMMONS
PHOTO BY AARON VAN DORN // CREATIVE COMMONS

A parking pass at Curry costs traditional undergrads $250 per academic year. Traditional day commuters pay $125, while evening commuters pay only $50. Each student pass has certain location restrictions, which are typically based on where the student lives on campus. Failure to park in the correct lot can lead to parking tickets that range from a low of $50 to as much as $200. If necessary, vehicles may also be towed at the owner’s expense.

Curry’s Public Safety department doles out the tickets.

Brian Greeley, chief of Public Safety, said there are approximately 1,500 parking spots on campus. About the same number of people have parking passes, and first-year traditional residential students are not even allowed to keep a car on campus.

Bottom line: “There is no room for premier parking,” said Greeley, who noted “at least 6 to 8 people come to the Public Safety building a day to complain about a ticket they just received.”

As for the cost of tickets, Greeley said the basic $50 parking fine mirrors the penalty in area towns. But that’s not entirely true.

According to the Boston Police Department, the penalty for parking in permit-required areas of Hyde Park, Mattapan and Dorchester is $25. And Kathleen O’ Donnell, senior administrative parking clerk for the town of Milton, gasped when hearing fine amounts at Curry. The penalty for illegally parking in a residential area of Milton—which is akin to improperly parking in a restricted lot at Curry—is only $15.

Greeley declined to say how much money Curry has generated through ticketing students this semester, or previous semesters, as well as the number of tickets handed out by Public Safety. He did say the money generated through tickets go to the college’s “general fund,” meaning it’s not earmarked for a specific purpose.

Curry does have a ticket appeal process, and first-time offenses are routinely voided. You have seven business days to appeal a ticket, by going on Curry College’s website and filling out an online form.

If a student does not appeal the ticket within seven business days, the fine will be charged to his school account.

Fired Public Safety Officer Properly Vetted, College Says

BY BRANDAN BLOM // OCT. 31, 2013 //

A former Curry College Public Safety officer is due back in court in early December, following charges stemming from an armed home invasion two weeks ago.

Paul Kodzis, who graduated from the college in 2009 with a degree in criminal justice, allegedly broke into an ex-girlfriend’s Marshfield home at 1 a.m. on Oct. 14 and pointed a handgun and police baton at her. No one was physically injured in the incident.

Paul Kodzis
Paul Kodzis

Kodzis, 26, was later arrested and charged with home invasion with a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault, armed burglary and witness intimidation. He was arraigned in Plymouth District Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Two days after the incident, Curry fired Kodzis from his job as a campus public safety officer. He was hired in March 2013. Prior to joining Curry, Kodzis reportedly worked as a security officer for a medical center in Quincy, and was a driver and guard for an armored car service.

Fran Jackson, director of communication at Curry, said Kodzis’ employment “was terminated because he was unable to perform the duties of his role as expected.”

She added that there has been no indication Kodzis engaged in any unlawful, violent or inappropriate behavior on campus.

It is the policy of the college to do a criminal background check for potential employees of the Public Safety department. According to Jackson, the school uses state systems for background checks. Jackson added that pre-employment physical and drug screening, along with a thorough reference check, are also done on potential employees. Kodzis passed all of the screenings and checks, she said.

“Unfortunately, no institution can predict with certainty the future behavior of its employees, either on or off campus,” Jackson said. “Curry College believes that we have no more fundamental obligation than to provide a safe campus within which living and learning can occur. We believe we take all appropriate steps in our efforts to do so.”