Getting Inside NIU’s Residence Halls

On Thursday, Nov. 3, the first day of our investigation, we met at the Northern Star office and calculated our plan to infiltrate security. Soon after 10:45 p.m., we left the Campus Life Building and walked to Neptune North’s Lucinda Avenue entrance.

11:24 p.m.: Our attempt to enter the doors failed. No amount of knocking attracted any attention and after waiting unsuccessfully for a passerby to let us in, we walked around to the back entrance.

Lacy knocked on the building’s entrance across the street from the Holmes Student Center. A passing student opened the doors for us, permitting access to Neptune. Once inside, a security guard reprimanded our knocking, remarking, “You know better than to knock.”

We then proceeded up the stairs. At the odd side of the second floor, a group of girls entering the floor held the door open for us, and we easily continued through the hall, noting a good portion of the room doors were open.

After leaving the second floor, we entered the third, following another group.

Upon leaving the floor, we also gained access to the basement tunnel, allowing us to travel between several Neptune buildings.

Coming up from the basement, we traversed through the Trident, loudly conversing about our ability to sneak into Neptune while the same officer who scolded us earlier simply watched our activities.

We passed through the building and left without being stopped.

Lincoln Hall

11:41 p.m.: We made our way to Lincoln Hall, where a friendly smoker held the door open for us.

Making our way to the D-wing, the same student let us onto his floor, D5, after we told him we were looking for our imaginary friend, Krystal. As we walked up the stairs, the girl we were following questioned our actions saying, “Are you going to vandalize my floor?” We laughed and kept going.

Thinking that splitting up would best utilize our time, Sarah went downstairs where she walked onto D3 as a student was leaving.

Though we were not stopped, we noticed a security guard roaming the halls as we left.

Grant North

11:52 p.m.: Another smoker let us into Grant North where we were guided by ropes to the front desk. Lacy spoke first, explaining we wanted to use the computer lab.

We were waived on without having to show any identification.

After waiting for the elevator for close to two minutes, a student used his key to give us access to the 11th floor, though our stories conflicted.

“We left our keys in our room,” Sarah said.

“Did you call Krystal?” Sherelle asked.

“I called her but she didn’t answer her phone,” Lacy answered, explaining we met a girl named Krystal and she wouldn’t pick up her cell phone.

After using the bathroom facilities, we walked around the floor and headed back to the front doors where two officers and four staff members were standing at the desk.

Stevenson North

12:01 a.m.: Sarah and Lacy walked up the stairs to Stevenson North and spoke for a few minutes with one of the smokers sitting on the bench. At the front desk, where they were asked to show their residence hall entry card, Lacy explained to the staff member at the desk they had left their cards with a friend who lived on one of the floors.

After a few minutes, Lacy decided to use a new “friend” and gave the name Joe to the woman, who told us we needed to call his room before we could gain access.

After several failed attempts at misspelling Joe’s last name, one student came up as living on the sixth floor.

After walking to the pay phones with Joe’s number, they turned to the elevators and waited for several minutes before giving up since no one came to let them up. While walking back to the door Sarah spotted a student walking to the elevators and, using his key, was able to get onto the seventh and eighth floors, where she wandered around for 10 minutes.

Douglas Hall

12:27 a.m.: We walked into Douglas Hall, following a group through the doors and walking past an officer sitting next to the door.

After waiting for a few minutes for a person to pass us by, we followed two students onto D5, while Lacy sat on the stairs and yelled up that two people were walking up the stairs.

As we walked past the fourth floor, we noticed someone was on the phone near the entrance. Tara motioned for that person to let us in and he did.

Day 2

On the second day of our investigation, Thursday, Nov. 10, we headed to Grant South at about 11:20 p.m.

We decided since it was so easy to get into the other residence halls, we would try to get into Grant and Stevenson, the two that were the hardest to get into the week before.

11:25 p.m.: Sherelle and Sarah went into Grant South and came back within a minute, saying they tried to say they needed to go to the computer lab. The staff told them they had to go to the other one and the tunnel to get to the other side was locked. They were then forced to leave.

11:27 p.m.: Lacy and Tara then tried to enter the building. They waited in between the outside doors as employees told them to swipe their cards. Lacy and Sarah told them they didn’t live there and were let in by someone exiting. The lady sitting at the table was prompt in telling us we needed to have someone who lived there escort us in. We then tried to “call” someone and left when there was no hope of getting in.

We were unsuccessful two times in a row in gaining access to Grant South.

11:32 p.m.: We then headed to Stevenson South to try and get in. Sarah and Sherelle got in because they asked to use the computer lab. The two people at the front desk told them to be quick and the girls asked them “should we leave an ID?” The front desk employees told them they didn’t need to. They responded by saying students are not allowed to use the computer lab after 11 p.m., but they would let them use it this time. Sherelle and Sarah left the computer lab at 11:40 p.m.