|Acts of thievery and a water pellet attack have already marred Exeter Summer 2022. |
On July 6, a resident of the Dunbar dorm lost $200. Further concern arose on July 8 when an additional $1600 was reported stolen from the dorm of two roommates also residing in Dunbar Hall, $800 each. There are no known suspects, but because of the amounts, the second incident has been reported to the Exeter Police and an investigation has been launched.
The most recent report to Exeter’s Campus ,Safety was made on the evening of July 12. While walking by Tattersall House, four Exeter Summer boys were pelted with gel water beads. As with a paintball gun, only a slight sting is felt by the victim, but a form of assault was still committed.
Four teenage boys attending the local public school of Exeter had driven by the summer students in a vehicle later identified as a White Infinity Sedan. While the Exeter Summer boys were meeting with school officials, the vehicle was found parked on Water Street. The Dean on Duty, Khadijah Campbell, was able to confirm the registration of the car and from there Campus Safety Officer Matt Carbone identified the four boys suspected of committing the assault.
From there the local police monitored the four boys until they could be returned to the custody of their parents.
Decisions about how to proceed legally will be left up to the parents of the four assaulted boys because the suspects are only juveniles. According to Paul Gravel, Director of Campus Safety and Risk Management, the boys could be charged with assault and or reckless conduct. The motives of the suspects are unconfirmed.
Theft at Exeter is always a matter of concern, and with no security cameras in the dormitory buildings there is little that security can do to catch perpetrators and return the money, Mr. Gravel said.
Richard Schieber, one of the summer Deans explains, “You cannot suspect anyone of sticking their finger in the cookie jar,” and Brian Calnan, another Dean, added, “Unless they are caught red-handed.”
If you fear that your dorm room will be targeted next, take note of the advice of Mr. Gravel:
If you have come to Exeter with a hefty sum of money, consider putting the money on a Lion Card or Visa card. Managing your Lion Card can be done easily from the Exeter Summer Portal.
Always lock your door. Leaving your room and locking the door behind is a foreign task to most on campus, but Mr. Gravel encourages everyone to do so anytime the room is left unattended.
Of thefts, he said: “The only way to head that off is to make sure people are keeping their private property locked up in their room.”
Students may worry about getting locked out of their dorm, but Mr. Gravel said there will always be a way back in. Stolen money, on the other hand, cannot always be returned.
Be especially vigilant of the security of your dorm when you leave for assembly or dorm meetings. This is the time when a thief can take advantage of an empty dorm building.
Report, report, and then report some more. Mr. Gravel wants to know about the safety issues you may be having, theft related or not. Expressing concerns and complaints will only improve our time here on campus.
Other than the early onset robberies, Mr. Gravel believes that students have done an exceptional job of respecting their new home away from home. To maintain this safety trend, he has a few more words of wisdom.
If you are looking to keep the peace between Exeter students and Exeter residents, be mindful of how you impact their day. “Put yourself in their shoes,” Mr. Gravel said.
Crosswalk-induced traffic jams are understandably frustrating for drivers and in the past have occasionally led to vulgar language being shouted out the windows of cars at passing students. If this does happen, continue to your class, but snap a picture of their license plate. The Exeter police will get involved and punish any type of assault, verbal or physical.
To avoid this escalation, take the time to wait at the curb and wave cars on when you notice that they have been sitting while students slowly cross the street. When you do proceed forward, Mr. Gravel emphasizes that, “eye contact is key.” There are many factors that lead to student injuries on the sidewalk — the glare of the sun in a driver’s eyes, the distraction of technology. Eye contact and a simple wave communicates that you are ready to cross, and the driver is ready to stop, a nearly seamless procedure.
With the dedication of Mr. Gravel and other security personnel along with the cooperation of the students on campus, we can all hope for a safe and fulfilling summer.