On Thursday, Oct. 17, UDPD was called to respond to an unauthorized guest in the Madonna Hall kitchen.
Huziefa Mustafa, a resident of Madonna, had been on his way to make ramen in the kitchen around 11 p.m. when he encountered the man.
At first, Mustafa thought the man was a staff member.
“I started to make ramen and then suddenly he just turned around so I saw the bag … and it was a shady guy with a beard and everything,” said Mustafa. It was at this point, when Mustafa noticed that the man had a bag and shoes with him, that he realized something was wrong.
Mustafa left the kitchen and ran into Colin Lancaster, his RA, in the hallway, to whom he explained the situation.
Lancaster had just returned to campus. Lancaster’s first thought was that it might have simply been a resident who was looking “worse for wear.”
In the kitchen, however, Lancaster saw a “guy [who] looked like he was in his late twenties, early thirties.” “I didn’t recognize him as one of my residents,” said Lancaster.
After an initial moment of panic, Lancaster watched the man from a distance while waiting for campus security to arrive.
In response to Lancaster’s call to the UDPD, Officer Carlos Tijerina came to Madonna to resolve the situation.
The officer declined to comment, but Lancaster said that after a few minutes of talking, the man left peaceably. The officer stressed to Lancaster the importance of not allowing residents to prop open dorm doors.
It is not clear how the intruder entered Madonna. Lancaster asked about the situation in the Madonna group chat, but did not get any responses. He believes someone may have left the door open, allowing the man to wander in.
RAs are told to respond to situations like this by staying calm and getting in contact with campus security as quickly as possible.
Lancaster explained that seeing strangers wandering near Madonna is not uncommon, as it is the closest building on campus to the DART station. Homeless people are known to stay at the DART station overnight.
This was not the first encounter Mustafa has had with a stranger on campus. On an earlier occasion, he and a friend were in the Madonna common room at 3 a.m. when they saw a man they assumed was delivering food due to his clothing and the box he was carrying.
“We thought he was here to deliver, or something, so my friend just opened the door and he just went upstairs,” said Mustafa. “And then suddenly we just realized that it’s 3 a.m., and no one would order at, like, 3 a.m.”
They went upstairs to check on the man and found that he was using the bathroom, after which he left the building.
The University of Dallas has strict rules about propping doors open, with warning signs on all dormitory doors. In the UD handbook, it states, “Under no circumstances may doors be propped open and individuals should not be permitted to enter unless properly authorized.” The policy that both RA’s and the handbook support is that each student should be responsible for letting his or her own guests into the building.
Writers Arianna Rudorf and Gregory Vall collaborated to produce this article