Q&A: Administrators on security on campus

By Emily Landgraf

The Rider News received a written statement from Dean of Students Anthony Campbell, Head of Public Safety Vickie Weaver and Associate Vice President for Planning Debbie Stasolla in response to our questions about the university’s security procedures and what the university is doing to keep students safe.

Is Public Safety on the lookout for suspicious persons?

Certainly Public Safety notes suspicious persons and activities and takes action accordingly — within the context of the law.  After all, we have many people visiting campus as day and evening students, visitors, parents, guests, etc. We are also dependent on members of our university community to assist us in identifying any concerns.  We encourage students, faculty and staff to call Public Safety immediately at 609-896-7777 or 609-896-5029 to report any suspicious persons or activities.

Have you in the past week received any complaints from students who thought they might have seen Kadyhrob on our campus?

After the initial timely warning notice on March 28, which included a detailed description of the suspect, Public Safety received a number of phone calls from members of our university community who indicated that they had seen Mr. Kadyhrob on campus previous to the Monday incident, but had not reported this to Public Safety at the time.  This information about previous sightings was helpful in working with the LTPD in its investigation.

However, no one indicated that Mr. Kadyhrob approached a member of our university community prior to last week’s incident. Also, we have had no confirmed reports since Mr. Kadyhrob’s arrest and release on bail that he has been on either of our campuses.

Why weren’t photos of Mr. Kadyhrob released until later on Friday? Why at TCNJ before Rider?

Both Rider and The College of New Jersey released the photos around the same time early Friday evening.  As soon as photos were made available through the help of The College of New Jersey, where Mr. Kadyhrob was seen on Friday afternoon, we disseminated them via email among students, faculty and staff on both campuses.  That was early Friday evening following confirmation by The College of New Jersey that he was indeed on their campus on Friday and escorted off by campus police.          As you know, in the meantime, we had shared a very detailed description of the suspect and later his name and age once he was identified.

Did Rider officials want the photos of Kadyhrob released right away?

Rider requested photos of Mr. Kadyhrob from Lawrence Township Police Department (LTPD).  They were ultimately provided with the help of The College of New Jersey, whose own police department, after being alerted to Mr. Kadyhrob’s identity, description and actions at Rider and his arrest, was able to take pictures of Mr. Kadyhrob when he was on their campus Friday.

Who spotted Kadyhrob on TCNJ’s campus, and how did they know what he looked like?

It is true that at our request, Lawrence Township Police shared information regarding the incident early last week with TCNJ and Princeton so those campuses had a heads up.  With this “heads up,” according to TCNJ officials, Mr. Kadyhrob was seen on that campus on Friday.
Having the advantage of being pre-warned, TCNJ police took pictures of Mr. Kadyhrob that day, escorted him off campus and declared him a Persona Non Grata, as Rider had already done. TCNJ shared its photos with Rider when campus police notified us of what happened on its campus on Friday.

Can you confirm the current security procedures regarding guest sign-in, guest parking, getting on campus after 8 p.m., what time the main entrance closes, etc.?

Rider’s campuses in Lawrenceville and Princeton, as at other colleges and universities in New Jersey, are primarily open campuses. On the Lawrenceville campus, the larger of the two, the main entrance is closed from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m., after most evening students have arrived for class.  All vehicular traffic must enter the campus via the South entrance and individuals must provide university identification or register and display a temporary pass before entering the campus during this time.
Overnight guests must register through the resident advisor or house manager on duty for the respective residential building.
Public Safety officers conduct routine building checks during their patrols and work closely with Residence Life to conduct routine security walkthroughs in residence halls and Greek houses and respond to incidents and emergencies.  Non-residential buildings are locked by an officer every night and are accessible when locked with university identification or issued key.
Given the relatively open nature of our campuses, it is important that we recognize that campus safety is a shared responsibility. Public Safety obviously plays a large role in this regard as do Lawrence Township Police, Princeton Borough Police and Princeton Township Police, with whom we have good working relationships. But there are also precautions we can each take with regard to our own safety and that of our university community.  This is an ongoing process and a matter of shared responsibility.  And we begin discussing this as soon as summer orientation for new students and new employee orientation.

– Always be aware of your surroundings.
– Don’t be distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices.  Don’t use headphones when walking on your own.
– Don’t prop open residence hall doors and don’t let someone into a residence hall that you don’t know.
– Don’t register someone as your guest in the Pub or SRC that you don’t know.
– Report suspicious persons or activities immediately to Public Safety.
– Utilize Rider’s student escort service if you find yourself alone and feel uncomfortable getting from one place to another on campus.
– Program 911 and Public Safety’s numbers (609-896-7777; 609-896-5029) into your cell phone.
– Know where the blue light emergency phones are located on our campuses.
– Be sure that you are signed up to receive RiderAlerts.  You can do so via www.rider.edu.

Are the above security procedures followed? If so, then how could this happen?

This incident occurred during the early afternoon, in broad daylight. As an open campus like most other college campuses across the country, we are an integral part of the world around us. The safety and well-being of all members of the Rider community ­— students, faculty and staff — is of utmost importance to the university.

We will continue to employ best practices as we work together with members of our university community to maintain the safety of our two campuses.

Are there any plans to change any security procedures to prevent another incident like this? Students on our Facebook page have expressed concern for their own safety. What is the administration doing about this?

The safety and well-being of all members of the Rider community – students, faculty, and staff  – is of utmost importance to the University, and we believe that,  by and large, we are a safe campus, and react in a timely and effective manner to incidents.  We have heightened our usual high-level public safety vigilance, providing all members of our community with photos and detailed information about Mr. Kadyhrob.  This includes Public Safety officers, students, faculty and staff.

We also appreciate working with The Rider News to remind all of us – students, faculty and staff – of the precautions we can each take with regard to our own safety and that of our University community.  This really is a matter of shared responsibility.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t be distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices.  Don’t use headphones when walking on your own.
  • Don’t prop open residence hall doors and don’t let someone into a residence hall that you don’t know.
  • Don’t register someone as your guest in the Pub or SRC that you don’t know.
  • Report suspicious persons or activities immediately to Public Safety.
  • Utilize Rider’s student escort service if you find yourself alone and feel uncomfortable getting from one place to another on campus.
  • Program 911 and Public Safety’s numbers (609-896-7777; 609-896-5029) into your cell phone.  Know where the blue light emergency phones are located on our campuses.
  • Be sure that you are signed up to receive RiderAlerts.  You can do so via www.rider.edu.

We also want to express appreciation to our University community for the numerous phone calls we received after issuing the original timely warning notice.  The information about previous sightings was helpful in working with the Lawrence Township Police Department in its investigation.

As for the future, Public Safety routinely conducts after action reviews of incidents and emergencies to determine lessons learned and to revise policies and/or procedures as needed.  We will be doing that with our Public Safety supervisors later this week with regard to this incident.

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