“I’m trying to creep tonight”


Char Pratt

Resident assistants from the Jupiter campus broke into GPT on Friday, Sept 9. After residents let them in, the RAs would hand them a notice telling them they just let a stranger into the dorm. Photo by Charles Pratt.

Monica Ruiz

Resident assistants from the Jupiter campus broke into GPT on Friday, Sept 9. After residents let them in, the RAs would hand them a notice telling them they just let a stranger into the dorm. Photo by Charles Pratt.

Nibal Eid was able to get past two sets of locked doors, up the elevator in Glades Park Tower (GPT) and follow residents all the way up to their rooms — more than once.

He was able to find out which floors had the parties, which were for the guys and which floor had the  hot girls.

But he’s not a GPT resident. He’s not even a student on the Boca campus. So how did he do it?

Easy. He just asked.

FAU Housing Director, Jill Eckardt, is so concerned about students letting strangers in the dorms that she sent four resident assistants (RAs) from the Jupiter campus to break into the dorms on Friday, Sept. 9.

She was confident that  they would get in with ease. And they did.

“Our students are very nice, but sometimes being nice is not always safe,” said Eckardt. “Our students think they can trust everybody, and unfortunately that is not always the case.”

One by one, the RAs were able to get into the dorms without a single student questioning them or asking to see an Owl Card.

“Most will let you all the way to their room. They will tell you how the girls and guys are divided, even when I told them I was trying to creep,” said Eid, a senior biology major and RA for the Jupiter campus.

After following the students to their rooms, the RAs told them that they had just violated Housing policy by allowing a stranger who could have hurt someone into the dorms. Then, they handed the students a printout with Housing guidelines.

“You’d be surprised that most pedophiles look like me,” Eid tells students.

Joey Mahia (left) and Kayley Rainer (center) let Nibal Eid (right) and a group of RA’s follow them from outside all the way to their dorm room, informing the RAs where the parties are. Photo by Charles Pratt.

J.D. Rashkin, a junior biology major and RA, explained that even after they told resident students what they were doing, the students “didn’t care.”

“They say ‘I’m just trying to be polite’…yeah, but you let us in,” said Lauren Gomez, a senior political science major and RA.

Melissa Stiksma, a junior psychology major and RA, said that when they went in a big group posing as strangers, students noticed something was up, but still didn’t say anything.

“There was no resistance. Ever,” she said.

“It’s funny how fast people will say where the hot girls are at,” added Eid. “Sadly, no one said ‘no’ to me once.”

According to Eckardt, this is an “age-old problem” that can only be fixed by inconveniencing residents.

“It’s a push-pull between safety and convenience. If I want to keep you safe, I have to inconvenience you,” she said. “If you can breeze through a building, then it’s not a safe building, so it’s at odds for each other. For us, it’s always a balancing act of too much safety, [or] your life is very difficult.”

All dorms have the same safety features: 24/7 locked doors that require residents’ Owl Cards to get in, security cameras, front desk service and an outside courtesy phone. The new Innovation Village Apartments are the only resident halls that need an Owl Card to access the elevator.

Eckardt explained some of the “awful” incidents that have happened in the resident halls usually involve non-residents or non-FAU students.

(From left to right) J.D. Raskun, Lauren Gomez and Melissa Stiksima, RA's at the Jupiter campus posed as strangers to see how easily they could get into the freshman dorm. Photo by Charles Pratt.

“Part of the struggle is a lot of our students are local and they will bring their friends from the surrounding community,” Eckardt said. “We don’t necessary say: ‘You’re coming onto my turf and my home and I need you to respect our rules.”

If she was to rate the overall safety of the dorms, Eckardt said that she would give them a seven.

“The features are an eight or nine. Our students are a five,” Eckardt said.

According to her, the safest dorm is either Algonquin or the Jupiter resident hall, because of their sizes and the students know who lives there. “It’s kind of a built-in neighborhood watch.”

With all of the security measures in place, Eckardt and the  RAs know students will always find a way around safety features.

“Whether it’s putting a rock in the door, and the rock is so small that it allows the door to look closed but it’s not … or a student will tape down the door latches so they can come and go,” said Eckardt. “[But] their actions can potentially affect other people.”

What you’re supposed to do when you see someone you don’t recognize trying to get in:

– Ask to see an Owl Card.

– Don’t let anyone follow you inside.

– Tell them to use the outside courtesy phone so the resident they came to visit can let them inside.

– Notify a RA or call campus police if you notice a suspicious person.