Protect your burrow

On the Beat

Last week was Groundhog Day, everyone’s favorite rodent-based celebration. After Phil was unceremoniously yanked out of his hole to decree that there are six more weeks of winter coming, he was stuffed back into his burrow for another year. Had Phil been a Case Western Reserve University-attending groundhog, we would have hoped he would have checked to make sure he still had his CWRU ID with him and that he ensured no one was tailgating behind him.

There was a popular movie in the 90s called “Groundhog Day,” in which the main character had to repeat the same day over and over. Sometimes campus policing can feel like that, as the same issues often repeat, such as theft of unattended items or students who have had just a little (or a lot) too much to drink.

Tailgating, which is getting into an access-controlled building by following behind someone, is one of those recurring issues. In past cases where CWRU PD has apprehended folks in our buildings and asked them how they got in, the answer is some variant of, “I followed behind someone.”

We have a good access-controlled system here, but it needs your help. If you live in a residence hall, hopefully by this point you recognize at least by face all of your fellow residents and would notice someone out of place or not accompanied by a resident.

If you are entering an access-controlled area like a lab and feel that someone has gotten in behind you who may not need to be there, call 216-368-3333. CWRU students and staff are required by university policy to present their IDs when requested, and visitors need to be able to state their business on campus when asked. If people are lost, we are happy to assist them, and if not we’ll figure out what happens next. We also urge you to report lost CWRU IDs as soon as possible so the card can be cancelled.

This is a big campus, and we can’t be everywhere, so access control is an area where the help of the campus community is vital to keep things running smoothly. Let’s look out for each other, take a lesson from Phil and protect our burrows.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. We welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at