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    Baynes Residence Hall was the site of an invasion of privacy that led to stronger security measures on NCCU dorms. Photo courtesy of NCCU PhotoShelter.

“Peeping Tom” incident at Baynes leads to tightened dorm security

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N.C. Central University is tightening up its dorm safety rules and practices, following a creepy peeper incident in late March.

On the fifth floor of the old Baynes Residence Hall, with its nine floors, long dark halls, and a smell that is not so delightful, a “peeping tom” incident in the women’s bathroom was reported on March 21. It happened at approximately 1:18 a.m., and police responded around 2 a.m.

According to a crime alert email that was sent out to students on March 25, the victim told authorities that “she was in the 5th floor ladies’ room and noticed an unknown subject holding a cell phone recording her. The subject was last seen running down the 5th floor stairwell.”

A suspect, 18-year-old Lavaudea Bass, was arrested and charged with Felony Peeping Using Photographic Imaging Device. He is not a student, but he allegedly managed to get in the building, where he allegedly recorded a student as she showered.

Resident Assistant Deshanae Meaders said that students need to take some responsibility for campus safety.

“I feel as if students need to understand the importance of safety, as far as not propping the doors and letting anyone who does not live here in,” Meaders said.

Meaders said that security has been increased since the incident. Back and side doors are locked earlier.

“Some students do not like the new security rules that are being placed because they have to walk all the way to the front of the building after a certain period of time,” Meaders said.

But some students in Baynes and around campus said they still feel uneasy.

“I feel a little safer, but I did feel as though I had to keep an eye out for who was in my hall and who I let into the building because I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me or anyone else,” said freshman resident Jalah White.

Residential Life has changed some of the rules for dorm halls all around campus for safety reasons.

“The Baynes Dormitory has Residential Life staff monitoring the building practically 24/7 through the use of desk duty and the conducting of rounds,” said building RA Mia McManus.

McManus added that police patrol the building daily, and that cameras placed in dorm halls ensure that any safety incident, violation or concern can be monitored from the surveillance footage and could prevent future similar incidents.

Moving forward students are told by campus police to not to be a hero and to watch their surroundings.

Story by Starr Jackson.

The Campus Echo is the official student newspaper of N.C. Central University, an HBCU in Durham with about 8,250 students. The Campus Echo is one of the most highly recognized HBCU student newspapers in the nation. In the last 15 years our print and online editions have won over 250 national and regional awards from the Black College Communication Association, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Associated Collegiate Press and the North Carolina College Media Association.

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