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Message from UA's Vice President for Student Affairs
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Dear Students,

I want to make you aware of an incident on campus and what we have done in response.

A former employee of UA's Office of Residence Life and Housing has been charged following an investigation by our campus police department. The former employee, Shaun Harkness, 28, of Western Springs, Ill., was arrested in Illinois on Oct. 21 and will be extradited here. Police allege that Harkness, while working in UA’s Office of Residence Life and Housing, went into some female students’ rooms without their permission and obtained photos. He also placed a camera in a women’s restroom. All identified people in the photos have been informed of the incidents.

Harkness worked at UA from July 2003 to June 2006, at which time he took a similar job at Northern Illinois University. Shortly before then, a female UA student had reported to UA police that she had received threatening e-mails regarding stolen photos. The UAPD investigated and contacted NIU when Harkness became a suspect. That alert prompted a similar investigation at NIU that resulted in Harkness’ termination. Harkness also faces charges of burglary, voyeurism and extortion for his actions in the residence halls at NIU.

Harkness' behavior is completely unacceptable, and it contradicts everything for which Residence Life and Housing stands.

I also want you to know what we have done in response.

Since the incident, we have strengthened security in our residence halls by conducting regular examinations of bathroom and shower areas, and by installing combination locks for entry into shower areas. Only residents on a particular floor are given the combination to their showers, and the locks are changed periodically.

The University also conducts criminal background checks of all residence life employees. Mr. Harkness did not have a previous criminal record.

I am new to campus, having arrived about a month ago. In that time, I have been impressed by the commitment and professionalism of the staff in Residence Life and Housing. Since 2001, Residence Life and Housing has received more than 30 national and regional awards. Last summer, our Richard L. Hansford National Residence Hall Honorary received the national Chapter of the Year Award from the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. In 2006, the department won national awards for service, spirit and programming excellence.

I wish to reiterate that this situation is not indicative of the type of student or staff member working at UA on behalf of our students. I hope our response shows you that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that student safety and security remain a top priority here.

Sincerely,

Dr. Charles Fey
Vice President of Student Affairs
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How to Get Your Information In Zipmail
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The University of Akron's Zipmail is a compilation of University announcements for University students, sent each Friday unless circumstances require otherwise. The deadline for submissions to be considered by the University is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Zipmail is a University of Akron communication vehicle established for the benefit of The University of Akron to communicate with its students. Items will be accepted for publication only when the University is directly involved in the activity through participation, sponsorship, or partnership with one of its recognized organizations, colleges or departments. The University reserves the right to edit or to refuse to run any submission for any reason. Zipmail is not, nor is it intended to be, a public forum or a limited public forum. Questions about the implementation of this policy may be directed to zipmail@uakron.edu.

Items to be considered for inclusion in Zipmail should be sent through the Zipmail Event Submission Form. Due to the volume of submissions received, items will not run more than one time.

Questions about specific announcements should be made to the contact person/department/organization listed in the announcement.Your event will automatically be forwarded to the University's online calendar. The Zipmail Coordinator can be reached at x2837.
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