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Strict policies enforced on Bobcat Alley
In the wake of the assault of a Quinnipiac student on Feb. 5, security personnel have stepped up enforcement of existing policies that limit students’ driving on Bobcat Alley. The regulations prevent unregistered guests from entering university property.
University rules prohibit commuter students from driving on Bobcat Alley and limit the road’s use to resident students who are either injured or transporting heavy packages to or from their dorm rooms, said John Twining, chief of security. Students who are given permission to drive on Bobcat Alley are allowed to park their vehicles on the campus’ only road for up to 20 minutes, Twining said.
These policies have existed for a long time, but security workers had not aggressively enforced them until Twining met with them to find out how the person who committed the assault arrived on campus.
“We should have stopped that student,” Twining said, referring to the 20-year-old Hamden man arrested by Hamden police in connection with the assault of a Quinnipiac student.
“Obviously, somebody wasn’t doing their job when that student came down Dorm Road,” Twining said.
Bobcat Alley is generally closed to most student traffic because the street needs to be clear in case emergency vehicles need to respond to a residence hall. On a recent day, Twining noticed a breach of university policy when he observed students’ vehicles parked outside the Mountainview residence hall for three hours.
“I fault the students and I fault my people,” he said.
Security personnel will now ticket and then tow vehicles parked longer than their allotted time, Twining said. He acknowledged that security personnel’s failure to enforce rules is problematic. Currently, the university’s four entrances are staffed by both university employees and contract employees. According to Twining, all security workers will be university employees by the end of this semester.
The underlying reasons pertaining to the university’s policies on student motor vehicle use on Bobcat Alley are safety and convenience, Twining said. The university, which has approximately 3,200 students living on campus, must prioritize safety concerns before those of convenience, he said.
With a system of shuttle buses constantly operating between campus and off-campus locations that include the university-owned parking lots, Twining thinks the university maintains an efficient method of transporting students.
Even so, since the beginning of the semester, Twining said he has received about five e-mails a day from students questioning and complaining about the university’s policies on who is allowed to drive on Bobcat Alley. The tone of some of the e-mails has been disrespectful,
Students understand the university’s policies, but they want security workers to enforce the rules consistently.
Rebecca Lucas, a senior Spanish major who lives off campus, said she accepts the university’s concerns about safety but is uncertain as to why the university had not been enforcing its policies until this semester.
“I understand from an emergency personnel point of view what their point is,” Lucas said. “However, on the other hand, I just have a question as to why they’re enforcing it now, as opposed to next semester or the beginning of this year.”
P.J. Milano, a sophomore physical therapy student who lives in the Mountainview residence hall, said he agrees with the university’s policies that limit student driving on Bobcat Way.
“If you’re going to make a policy, you’ve got to enforce it,” said Milano, while waiting for a shuttle bus near the Bobcat Den on Friday afternoon.
“Just make sure it’s straightforward.”