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First-Year Finds Man In Hollis North Shower

By Jenny E. Heller, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, a first-year woman was shocked to find an unknown man showering in her bathroom on the second floor of Hollis North.

"I just froze," said the New York native who requested anonymity. "I was just really scared. I was completely mute."

She said she had entered the bathroom 15 minutes earlier, heard a person showering and smelled what she described as "a repulsive odor." She left immediately to avoid the stench and returned at 9:30.

The woman noticed large brown leather shoes and ripped clothes with paint stains in a pile on the floor. She said she realized that these clothes did not belong to a student and asked for the identity of the person in the shower.

According to the first-year, a man in his mid-twenties opened the shower curtain and said, "Hi, I'm Steve." She described him as having long, shaggy, brown hair and a beard.

"He was the skinniest thing I have ever seen," she said.

The student said she had never seen the man before and immediately rushed back to her room to call the police.

Sergeant Robert A. Cooper of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) said that because of the serious nature of the incident, it would be treated "as somewhat of a priority."

According to police reports, when the two officers arrived at the dorm, the intruder had already left the premises.

Cooper said HUPD is not sure how the man entered the building. Two other students from Hollis North reportedly spotted the man loitering around the dorm earlier.

"I was sitting on the stoop at about 7 a.m. and saw a strange homeless man pacing. [This incident] made me feel that the dorm was very vulnerable," said Danielle Boudreau '01.

Other students in the dorm expressed feelings of disbelief, concern for the student's safety and relief that the incident did not have more serious consequences.

"It freaked me out...It was scary rather than funny," said Hollis resident Hilary R. Chart '01. "She was just in her towel, and he was naked...really scary."

Some residents of the dorm viewed the incident as a one-time occurrence and said that they are not worried for their safety.

"Stuff like this is bound to happen," Phil P.Mariani'01 said.

First-years around the Yard said that they have noticed an increase in the number of police cars patrolling the area in the past week, especially because thefts around the neighborhood are on the rise.

But many students said that although the incident was unsettling, they did not feel that it directly related to their lives.

"I thought it was pretty disturbing," said Kate L. Hable '01. "But because we have private showers in Wigglesworth, it doesn't really affect me."

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said that this incident will lead to a review of Yard security.

"I don't know how this man got in," he said, "I hope that the police will review the security at Hollis and that students will be especially careful to close doors behind them."

The HUPD said it will continue to look for the intruder. "The police department wants to find out who he is and if there is anything more to be concerned about," Cooper said.

Cooper warns students to be aware of "piggybackers," non-residents who enter dorms behind students. Prior to the incident, HUPD officers were scheduled to go to all first-year dorms and educate students about safety measures throughout the year

"Stuff like this is bound to happen," Phil P.Mariani'01 said.

First-years around the Yard said that they have noticed an increase in the number of police cars patrolling the area in the past week, especially because thefts around the neighborhood are on the rise.

But many students said that although the incident was unsettling, they did not feel that it directly related to their lives.

"I thought it was pretty disturbing," said Kate L. Hable '01. "But because we have private showers in Wigglesworth, it doesn't really affect me."

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said that this incident will lead to a review of Yard security.

"I don't know how this man got in," he said, "I hope that the police will review the security at Hollis and that students will be especially careful to close doors behind them."

The HUPD said it will continue to look for the intruder. "The police department wants to find out who he is and if there is anything more to be concerned about," Cooper said.

Cooper warns students to be aware of "piggybackers," non-residents who enter dorms behind students. Prior to the incident, HUPD officers were scheduled to go to all first-year dorms and educate students about safety measures throughout the year

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