Myth: Can you get arrested for being in the dorms?

During her freshman year, Dina Miller saw a homeless man sitting in the lounge of the Indian River Towers. She didn’t call the cops, but she hopes someone else did.

That man was trespassing. And if a student walks into the dorms without being invited, that is trespassing too.

The 2008-2009 Housing and Residential Guidebook explains that trespassers are “individuals who are not authorized, licensed or invited to enter University Housing facilities and the immediate surrounding areas.”
“It’s not a rule: It’s a law,” says Chief Charles Lowe of the FAU Police Department.  “Florida Statute 810.09 or 810.08 prohibits trespassing after being warned.”

And Chief Lowe says that kind of thing can and does happen frequently. People who live off-campus who don’t follow the rules often suffer the consequences.
“It was pretty scary,” says Miller, a junior studying nursing and psychology. “I guess he just needed a place to stay.”

According to FAU rules, trespassers are first issued a written warning from the Police Department and are then classified into different groups before further action is taken. 

If the person trespassing commits a violent crime while on housing property, they will be arrested on both charges, and of course banned from FAU property. However, if a person has repeat offenses of trespassing on FAU housing, they will just be restricted from the housing property.

Resident Assistants in Glades Park Towers weren’t allowed to talk about specific trespassing incidences, but they would say that it isn’t possible to check every single person who enters the building. Trespassers are usually only punished when a problem arises. 

They will involve the police when a person is soliciting students with pamphlets or petitions.

Students are encouraged to report trespassers to the FAU police. Chief Lowe feels confident in the law’s ability to protect the students of FAU. 
“Trespassers are creepy,” says freshman Stephanie Peterson, biology major. “I’m extra paranoid anyway, but for the most part I feel really safe at FAU.”