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SMC gym improves security measures

Mandi Stirone | Thursday, January 25, 2007

Students trying to lose extra post-holiday weight or stay in shape this semester may be happy to hear Saint Mary’s Angela Athletic Facility implemented new rules to guarantee their safety.

Under the new rules, students will have to show their school identification at the door to enter the facilities -an upgrade from previously nonexistent security measures.

Other changes include the addition of a second desk worker at the Angela’s north door, which will be locked at 7 p.m. every night, Athletics Director Lynn Kachmarik said.

Students seemed optimistic about the new procedures.

“It makes more sense because anybody could walk in here,” sophomore Kaela Hellmann said.

Senior Michelle Lonnee agreed, noting that the lack of security in the past has opened the gym doors to people who don’t belong there.

“It’s a good idea because a lot of random people come here to workout,” she said.

Kachmarik also said she hoped to get a scanner system in the future that would require students to slide their school identification to gain access to Angela. Notre Dame currently employs a similar system.

“We are just working to make sure that those who come into our facility have the authority to do so, for liability reasons,” she said.

As our equipment has improved, many non-community members have found their way into Angela.”

Erin Sullivan, the director of student workers in Angela, said the changes were directly related to safety concerns. With the old system, staff members were not able to determine whether people entering the gym belonged there.

The security upgrades were triggered by a recent incident where a man not affiliated with SMC interrupted a softball practice in Angela to play basketball with his children, according to security director Dave Gariepy.

When the Angela staff confronted the stranger he became “verbally abusive and belligerent,” he said.

Security officials were called to the scene but the man and his children left Angela before they arrived.

Gariepy also said the man’s name has been obtained and a “no trespass warning” has been sent to him.

Saint Mary’s Security will also continue to work with the Angela staff to prevent any security breaches in the future.