Leilani Burke/Sun Staff Photographer

Court-Kay-Bauer Hall on North Campus on Feb. 2, 2022.

February 17, 2023

Intruder in CKB Dormitory Sparks Fear in Residents

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Court-Kay-Bauer Hall residents are shaken up following a Cornell University Police Department report that an intruder was found in a CKB dorm room on Thursday.

The CUPD received a report on Feb. 16 at 5:09 p.m. that a resident found an unauthorized individual underneath their bed when they awoke from a nap around 4:30 p.m, according to an email sent by Housing and Residential Life to CKB residents obtained by The Sun. The resident’s room was unlocked during entry. 

According to a source who The Sun has confirmed is close to the victim — who did not wish to be named out of safety concerns since the perpetrator is still at-large — the victim came home from class and took a nap and was awoken by a phone call from the source. The victim commented that there was a rotten smell in the room. When the victim fully awoke, she checked under the bed, without her glasses on, and stared at the intruder for five seconds before he crawled out from underneath the bed and exited the room.

“CUPD is working diligently to find this individual, but Housing and Residential Life would like to remind students to not permit non-CKB residents into the building,” the email read. “If you don’t know them, it’s okay to tell someone to use their own ID to gain entry or ask for a visitor to wait for their host to let them into the building.”

The email also reminded students to lock their rooms, even when leaving the room momentarily, taking a nap or using the bathroom.

Residents of CKB told The Sun they are taking extra safety precautions following the incident.

Roommates Alena Makheja ’26 and Ellie Butkovich ’26 said that before yesterday, they rarely locked their door.

“I lost my key for a period, so we never really locked it,” Makheja said. “But this made me want to start locking my room.”

In CKB, students need to scan their Cornell ID once to enter the lobby of the dormitory and again to enter either the elevator or the stairwell. The pair said they frequently have friends over at their dorm and that telling them to ‘piggyback’ off of other people who have CKB room cards is convenient and effective.

Signs in Court-Kay-Bauer Hall remind students to scan their ID to enter and stop the practice of ‘piggybacking.’ (Sofia Rubinson/Sun News Editor)

“It’s pretty easy [to enter CKB],” said CKB resident Jake Kohagura ’26. “All you’ve got to do is follow somebody in, but I imagine that people are [now] on pretty high alert.”

Kohagura said he and his friends rarely think about locking their doors and will leave their rooms unlocked all day. He expects that behavior to change following yesterday’s events. 

Sarah Young ’26 said she is a pod-mate of the victim, meaning they share the same bathroom and live adjacent to one another. 

“I definitely think I’m not a super scared person,” Young said. “But this has got me locking my door when I go to the bathroom, locking the door when I go to the shower. I think it was really kind of surreal.”

Young said her floor is shaken up following the incident, and she knows female students who decided to sleep in other residence halls with friends last night.

Resident Jaidyn Duhon ’26 said she always locks her door but that this incident has heightened her anxiety about the dorm’s safety. 

“I’m not feeling safe at all,” Duhon said. “Now I’m looking under my bed, even though I know there’s no way that somebody can be there. And I look at my closet, just to make sure that nobody’s in there.”

Students said that ‘piggybacking’ and entering dormitories as a non-resident is not a problem unique to CKB. The problem might be even worse in other dorms, like Mary Donlon Hall, that have fewer check-points to scan a Cornell ID. Multiple students questioned why the notification email about the incident was only sent to residents of CKB.

“This is not a CKB thing. This is a general dorm safety thing,” Young said. “For other residents not to know that this is something they should [look out for] — people should be made aware of what’s going on.”