“It is impossible to control full access to [buildings] except through the swipe cards,” he says.
But one of the obstacles to preventing piggybacking is that it would go against what administrators describe as Harvard’s culture of inclusivity.
Because undergraduates have become accustomed to holding the door for others, it seems rude not to allow another student access, according to Joshua G. McIntosh, associate dean of the College for student life.
McIntosh, who chairs the Harvard College Safety Committee, says the situation would be improved “if the cultural norm was we just didn’t let people come in behind us.”
College administrators say they are developing a campaign to encourage students to be mindful of who they are letting into Harvard buildings, but they will not say if the shooting is specifically motivating that initiative.
“I am not going to point to any one thing that motivated that campaign,” says Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds.
The Safety Committee is also re-evaluating how it communicates Harvard’s policies to students, according to McIntosh, but administrators say the re-evaluation is unrelated to the Kirkland shooting.
“I will be honest with you. This issue was independent of and not sparked by the Kirkland incident,” McIntosh says. “What motivated this more strategic direction is that we had 12 people in a room who thought it was an important thing to do.”
While they say that Harvard regularly re-evaluates its safety policies, administrators were unwilling to discuss what, if any, lessons were learned from the alleged murder inside Kirkland House due to the ongoing investigations.
“It’s an urban environment, and we hope that we can manage the unsafe things that might happen in our environment and we do that every single day,” says Dean of Student Life Suzy M. Nelson. “That is something we are constantly engaged in.”
‘ASKING FOR TROUBLE’
After swiping into the Kirkland J-entryway, Aquino, Copney, and Jiggetts made their way into the basement of the annex to meet with Cosby, according to prosecutors.
Cosby, who had previously been arrested on drug charges, is believed to have been a supplier of marijuana on campus. One student last year said a man who called himself “Justin” sold marijuana to him and other Harvard students. Text messages this student received from Justin advertised Jack Herer and Kali Mist, two popular marijuana strains. Further investigation showed that the text messages were sent from a phone tied to Cosby’s mother.
That day, Cosby seemed ready for a drug transaction—but, according to the district attorney’s office, Aquino, Copney, and Jiggetts had no intention to pay.
In 2005, The Crimson reported that marijuana use at Harvard is “less likely to get [a student] in trouble than breaking a window.”