Thursday, May 26, 2022
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ResLife Responds to Concerns of Campus Safety

UMKC ResLife completed its investigation of the alleged sexual assault in Johnson Hall Monday.

According to Director of Residential Life Sean Grube, his office is not at liberty to discuss whether protocol was followed on the morning of Feb. 24, when the incident took place, because the investigation “deals with employment and personnel issues.”

Grube said the alleged assault and concerns over security prompted specific changes to front desk practices in campus housing facilities.

The biggest change is a new system requiring students to swipe their student ID in three different places before entering the main part of the building.

The first swipe, at the front door, was in place before the incident occurred.

“Since the incident, we’ve included a swipe at the front desk,” said Grube. “All students have to come to the front desk in order to enter the residence halls now. And then the third swipe is either to get into the elevator or enter the residential facility on the second floor.”

In addition to these new measures, ResLife met with every desk assistant throughout the system and walked them through protocol.

“We explained some of the concerns to them and had them sign off on that,” said Grube.

ResLife holds monthly staff meetings, which Grube says will be used to proactively address security concerns going forward.

His office is also working on creating a formal handbook for student employees. Currently, all training is done through interactive presentations.

Frederick Rivera demonstrates the new three point check in system.
Frederick Rivera demonstrates the new three point check in system.

To ensure these measures are implemented, ResLife periodically reviews security footage and sends a handful of ‘secret shoppers” to check protocol is followed.

Madhuri Jumma, a desk attendant in Johnson Hall, says student response to the new three point system has been positive.

“I think students understand it’s about their safety,” said Jumma. “These changes cover the aspects of security that needed to be addressed.”

Some student residents, like freshmen Reese Bentzinger, think the school could do more to improve residence hall safety.

“I see why they made those changes, with everything that has happened lately,” she said. “I don’t know what it could be, but I feel like they could do more to improve surveillance.”

For students living on campus, Grube said his office is always open.

“We met with all of the R.A.’s after the incident occurred to hear their concerns and gauge student sentiment,” said Grube. “We want to be known for being responsive.”

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