Students wary of Gilbert lot

By Jami Peterson

Students are now thinking twice about parking in a Gilbert Residence Hall parking lot after a brush with criminal activity.

After hearing complaints from many students living in Gilbert Hall about damage and burglary to their motor vehicles parked in Lot V, the Residence Hall Association and the University Police are working on the case.

Gilbert Residence Hall Director Zari Lenga said she was approached about three weeks ago by residents who are upset about the situation. The students, looking for a solution to their problem, then wrote a letter to the RHA suggesting a change in the lot, she said.

Because the lot is “so remote and far away, it is easier to break into (vehicles),” Lenga said.

A President Dan Chamberlain said the parking lot problem is his major concern. “We are working with the parking services and the UPs,” he said.

A Administrative Vice President Gregory Post said the RHA is aware that the “rash of break-ins” has caused Gilbert residents to be very concerned about parking where they normally park.

“The students are feeling somebody isn’t putting in an effort to solve the problem,” Post said.

He said the issue will come up at the next RHA meeting, where switching the two Gilbert Hall parking lots will be discussed.

The blue lot in front of Gilbert Hall is for faculty, while the orange lot in the back is for students. By switching the two lots, the secluded orange lot will be mainly empty at night, which could help decrease the amount of criminal activity, Post said.

Although UPs are not able to give specifics about the investigation, Det. Curt Underwood said they are working on the case. “We are actively investigating the crimes,” he said.

UP Lt. Kathy Guimond said a total of seven criminal activities, including burglary to a motor vehicle, criminal damage and attempted burglary have been reported as occurring in Lot V between Sept. 3 until Oct. 8.

Larry Bolles, director of the University Judicial Office, said he only has heard of one of these cases. But, he said, “around this time of year you see a lot of people claiming that people are going into their cars.”