Blossoming That Got Out of Hand


When Stephen S.J. Hall, vice president for administration, launched another of his pet projects in the fall of 1972, everything went smoothly. At least, at first.

The former Sheraton executive was very fire and security-conscious, as hotel management types are won't to be, and had begun to worry about some of Harvard's ancient, arid, accessible buildings.

So Hall hit upon the idea of hiring a security-guard service, which would patrol Harvard's valuable fixed assets--its labs, classrooms and dormsand protect, in his words, Harvard's most valuable assets--its people."

Various deans and financial aid administrators suggested that it would be a good thing to hire scholarship students so as to keep the money within the family and Hall agreed.

Members of the Harvard University Police Association grumbled that the students would be cutting in on police jobs, but Hall assured them that the students would be merely "the eyes and ears" no substitute for the muscle--of the department.

The upshot of all this, them, was the Student Security Patrol, a group of 14 undergraduates, law and Divinity students earning over $3 an hour for working night shifts on foot and at desks.

The patrol fell to the tutelage of Lt. George A. Hill Jr., since Hall and Police Chief Robert Tonis by this time weren't seeing eye-to-eye on police matters. A first-year law student, Samford L. (Sandy) Maier Jr., and a junior, George D. Caruolo '74, become student coordinators early in the going.

Things went well for the patrol: local newspapers wrote complimentary articles with headlines like "Harvard men get 'A' in patrol"; a fire and several armed robberies and burglaries were the warted: students made good money; more and more customers--Houses, departments and various graduate schools--contracted for students over commercial guards.

But as the patrol blossomed from 14 to 110 employees, supervision became a problem. The patrol charged its clients $3.70 for each hour of its service, leaving little money to pay such overhead costs as uniforms, training. clerical work...and the salaries that allegedly were promised to Maier, Caruolo and their new aide, Varnavas A. Varnava '75.

By February of this year, things had gotten so out of hand that three patrol members who had held administrative posts under the coordinators--Daniel W. Small S. Philip J. Sampson '75 and Carlton C. Bush Jr. '75--blew the whistle on how the patrol was being managed.

The three sent a letter to deans and administrators that prompted an in-house investigation by Hall and new Police Chief David M. Gorski, and, after protests from University Hall, a faculty review. The faculty probe of the patrol moved into its second week this week.

A month-long investigation by The Crimson of the letter's allegations found that: the coordinators drew pay for shifts they didn't work; Maier received pay through another student's check; Maier received pay while on vacation; and, the patrol at times hired on its own, bypassing normal University channels.

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