Vaughan to help womenBy Craig Jungwirth
The MIT community faces a crime problem that stems from a rise in the presence of non-students on campus, said Chief of Campus Police James Olivieri.
These "outside people" gain "entrance to many of our functions," he said.
A recent Campus Police Crime Alert Bulletin stated: "The recent social events of the Feb. 22 weekend ... have served to re-emphasize the critical need for crime prevention awareness by students -- especially during periods of party activity."
Students reported three larcenies, two acts of assault-and-battery, a break-in, a fight at a party, the loss of a gold bracelet and the removal of a disorderly person over the Feb. 22 weekend.
Olivieri cited four factors that have caused the influx of non-MIT and non-college affiliated persons onto campus.
O+ Commercial establishments now control underage drinking due to the new happy hour laws and the proposed rise in the drinking age in June. This situation encourages underage drinkers to come to campus in search of alcohol, Olivieri said.
O+ Spots on radio stations and widespread distribution of pamphlets describing on-campus social activities play a major role in attracting people to MIT parties, Olivieri said.
"Outside advertising by radio may reach intended clientele, but you're also reaching everyone in the community who wants to go where the action is," he said.
O+ "This access capability into the living areas is creating an atmosphere conducive to criminal activity both inside and outside the dormitories," he continued.
Activity participants only have access to facilities where there is strict control, he added. In some cases, where people are restricted from entering MIT social functions, "they roam around the area" and create problems there, he said.
O+ Olivieri also cited "entertainment in the dormitory setting" as a potential cause of crime. Social activities held in dormitory facilities sponsored by non-resident groups "make [MIT] very susceptible" to crime.
Olivieri suggested several actions the MIT administration and students can take: "Functions with advertising should maybe be held in a more public place. Outside groups could use Walker [Memorial] or the ... Student Center, where they are removed from access to dormitories."
"The same thing is happening at some other colleges and universities with similar results. We are fortunate that our case has not been exacerbated by personal injury [to students]," he said.
"The Campus Police, Dean's Office and other groups are in conversations to deal with the situations," Olivieri said.