By ANDY LYONS, Muleskinner News Editor – The doors to the public areas of Panhellenic Hall were locked around the clock after the murder of Blaine Whitworth.
Panhellenic Hall is an all female dorm located on the west side of campus and houses seven sororities. The hall also has its own cafeteria and houses the office of Residence and Greek Life.
The building has public access areas, but the living areas are accessed by keycards given to residents only.
Alan Nordyke, director of Residence and Greek Life, suggested that UCM students requested the change in the door locks, which typically were locked from midnight until 6 a.m.
“There are residents directly connected to the tragedy, and they requested we further secure the building,” he said.
However, members of the sororities housed in the hall have said that the doors being locked came in lieu of defendant Ziyad Abid’s visit to Panhellenic in the week before he was arrested and charged in the murder of Whitworth.
A sorority member who lives in Panhellenic Hall and requested to remain anonymous said that the two men charged with the murder had been in the building in the days before the murder asking if Abid’s sister could live in Panhellenic right out of high school.
The security and privacy of residents who live in campus housing is the priority as far as Public Safety is concerned.
“With the recent visit by the defendants in the homicide and concerns for the privacy of residents, the public area doors of Panhellenic Hall were locked around the clock indefinitely,” said Kim Vansell, director of Public Safety.
Other than the visit from the defendants, several of the residents knew Whitworth on a personal level, so another reason for the doors to be locked was to give the residents their privacy.
In order to maintain the security and privacy of the residents, the exterior doors of Panhellenic Hall will be locked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice.