By: Tatum Hunter ~Staff Writer~
Campus Police is increasing its efforts to enforce the hours of operation of the A.B. Cohen Center due to a recent safety concern.
According to a report from Campus Police, two students reported witnessing a contracted employee viewing pornographic material on Jan. 30 in a Cohen Center computer lab. The students had waited approximately eight hours to contact Campus Police. The incident took place after 2 a.m., the time at which all students are supposed to be out of the building for the night.
The university dealt with the issue internally, and the contracted employee was terminated.
Art Department Chair Kelly Phelps sent an email to all art students stating that they must abide by the 2 a.m. cut off or be faced with a $50 fine from Campus Police. The email also requested that students take increased security measures.
“There are no new fines or regulations. Not unless the art department is doing something I don’t know about,” Lt. William Smith of Campus Police said. “They were in there after hours … and when that was discovered, that
Campus Police enforce curfew in Cohen after security incident made everyone question whether the rules are being followed.”
“I don’t think that rule has had to be enforced in the last two years,” Smith said. “There’s been a certain level of trust, but we are going to increase patrols if it’s necessary. We’ll be more vigilant about checking that area.”
Students found in Cohen after 2 a.m. will be given a warning and cited in an incident report that is given to the art chair. Further violations can warrant a fine and a report to the Dean of Students, which may result in a disciplinary hearing for violating university policy. Smith said that continuing violations will result in larger fines.
“I would say the safety concern is that the students were in there after hours … There’s nobody in there supervising. There’s a potential danger to them being in there after hours with nobody around,” Smith said.
According to senior Zach Julian, many art students are displeased with the decision.
“There are a lot of students who have other classes, commitments or jobs and can’t find the time during the day to work on their projects,” Julian said. “These aren’t things you can just spend half-hour intervals on. You have to commit to extended periods of time and late night work… The fact that they are all of a sudden enforcing this rule is completely ludicrous.”