Friday, Oct. 3, at 3:30 p.m., junior lacrosse player Justin Gray was trying to nap when he heard loud rustling outside the door. He walked out of his room in House 6 and watched as public safety officer Jim Gallagher piled hockey and lacrosse equipment, including astro turf and several pairs of sneakers, into the back of his vehicle.
Gray approached Gallagher and asked if it was ok if he took his belongings. Gallagher said, “I’ll have to take it up with [Charlie] Schaffner.”
“They took everything but a shoe,” Gray said. Gallagher told Gray that he was confiscating the equipment because it was blocking a fire exit. “He said he was going to write us up and that our RA got a letter about it,” Gray said.
Junior, lacrosse player Tom Schneiders, a resident of House 6, returned to his dorm at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 only to discover that his lacrosse equipment had also been taken.
“They took my favorite pair of Nike Shock sneakers,” Schneiders said. “At first, I was shocked, but, luckily, my associate, Mr. Gray, saw the equipment in the back of the truck.”
Schneiders’s roommate, junior hockey player Rob Cain, had his hockey equipment taken during the incident as well.
Schneiders said that the equipment smells and that is why it is left in the hallway. “They don’t provide us with anywhere else to put them. They didn’t even give us a warning. Had we been told, we would have come up with a better place to keep the stuff,” Schneiders said.
Antonio Masone, a senior lacrosse player whose equipment was also taken by Public Safety, said that Area 3 Coordinator Tutaleni Asino mentioned that he would look into getting the athletes a closet to keep their equipment in, but said nothing about moving it away from the exit until that point.
Monday, Sept. 29, House 6 resident assistant, senior Josh Dzielak, found a note on his door saying that the items blocking the fire exit needed to be removed by Wednesday, Oct. 1, or Residence Life would be notified.
Dzielak said that he talked to Gray. “I suggested that they move their equipment to the basement,” Dzielak said. Gray said that he would talk to the rest of the guys in the house and take care of the problem.
Dzielak said that Asino had previously talked to him and gave him the impression that he addressed the problem to the House 6 residents.
Director of Public Safety Charlie Schaffner said that the items were taken to Public Safety, documented, and an inventory was taken. “We had several reports over a weekly period,” Schaffner said. Most of the reports came from students and RA’s during their nightly rounds.
Schaffner confirmed that a note was left for the RA about the items that needed to be removed. The decision about how to handle the situation is up to residence life according to Schaffner.
Angie Hodgeman, assistant director of residence life, said that she was notified of the incident that took place between House 6 residents and Public Safety. If the bags are in a common area causing a fire hazard, they are allowed to be confiscated. “They [Public Safety] are allowed to look through the bags for identification,” Hodgeman said.
Director of Residence Life George Stroud said, “This