The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt to conduct security assessments on Zeppos, E. Bronson Ingram residential colleges

The building assessments, part of a broader security review Vanderbilt announced in August, may involve officers and security consultants entering residents’ suites.
Zeppos+Tower+at+sunset%2C+as+photographed+on+Sept.+28%2C+2023.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FIsabella+Bautista%29
Isabella Bautista
Zeppos Tower at sunset, as photographed on Sept. 28, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Isabella Bautista)

Vanderbilt will conduct a security assessment of campus buildings, including Nicholas S. Zeppos and E. Bronson Ingram Colleges, during the week of Oct. 30. A representative of Vanderbilt’s Office of Housing and Residential Experience (HRE), formerly known as OHARE, declined to comment on which other buildings are being reviewed. 

“E. Bronson Ingram College and Zeppos College are among several campus buildings being reviewed with the goal of assessing a representative sample of different types of university buildings,” the representative said. 

The HRE representative told The Hustler it is possible that officers or consultants will enter shared residential spaces such as suites during the day. In email notifications to Zeppos and EBI residents Oct. 21 about the building assessments, students were not notified of this possibility.  The HRE representative said students do not need to prepare their suites for the review. 

The building assessments are part of Vanderbilt’s comprehensive review of emergency preparedness, announced Aug. 31. The review is being conducted by professional security officers and consultants escorted by university representatives and with input from AT-RISK International, a security consulting firm.

“There are likely to be groups of people walking around campus buildings during the day and night. Officers will be in plain clothes, and consultants will have identification badges,” the emails read.

The HRE representative told The Hustler the assessments are not in direct response to recent security issues on campus, including the Aug. 28 arrest of a trespasser in EBI.

“These reviews have been planned since this assessment commenced earlier this summer,” the representative said. “Recent safety concerns have been communicated to the consultants for their consideration.”

An earlier version of the notice to students stated the assessment would take place the week of Oct. 23.

“This fall, the firm will assess the university’s preparedness and make recommendations for managing immediate and post-incident response as well as ongoing support and long-term recovery, if needed,” the Aug. 31 announcement reads. “The firm is also expected to review and enhance training options and coordinate with key stakeholders to refine the university’s response plan for an active assailant threat.”

The representative added that the ambiguity regarding the exact timing of the assessments is “intentional” and said HRE appreciates the community’s cooperation.

Kylie Sullivan, a junior and Zeppos resident, said she is glad the university is prioritizing safety but also worries entering suites during the security review could be problematic.

“It’s definitely important to stay vigilant, so I appreciate the efforts to prioritize student safety,” Sullivan said. “However, I don’t know if entering students’ suites without permission is really necessary. It seems like a violation of privacy that could, ironically, damage perceptions of safety.”

Junior Jake Swain, an EBI resident, expressed concern with the building’s existing security measures in light of the security review.

“The security is not good,” Swain said. “I could break into EBI without breaking a sweat. The door is propped open half the time.”

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About the Contributors
Parker Smith, Deputy News Editor
Parker Smith ('24) is majoring in computer science and political science in the School of Engineering. He enjoys playing guitar in his spare time and is a former Starbucks barista and self-proclaimed coffee expert. He can be reached at [email protected].
Isabella Bautista, Deputy Life Editor
Isabella Bautista (‘26) is double majoring in mathematics and psychology and minoring in biological sciences on the pre-medical track in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Easton, Pa. When not writing for The Hustler, she can be found spending hours alone in a piano practice room, photographing Vanderbilt squirrels with her Canon camera or poring over research papers in the lab she works in. She can be reached at [email protected]  
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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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VandyAlum27
3 months ago

great article! very suspicious! excellent quote from Mr. Swain