A mass notification was sent out to students by Hofstra’s Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28 regarding incidents of indecent exposure. According to the alert, a man was driving in the vicinity of the Hamilton Road entrance, asking college-aged women for directions and exposing himself upon receiving a response.
The man has been described by Public Safety as “African-American, 20 to 30 years old, [driving] a dark colored sedan.” The alert sent out by Public Safety said: “It has been reported to the Hofstra University Department of Public Safety that a male individual has been committing lewd acts in a car off-campus … He has been approaching women walking alone during the mid-day hours, asking for directions onto campus. When the person responds, he then will expose himself.”
A student reported to Public Safety an incident on Broadfield Road between Jane Street and Butler Place during which a man exposed himself to her while returning to her off-campus residence. After walking away immediately, the man drove off. The incident was reported to the Hempstead Police Department.
Karen O’Callaghan, the director of Public Safety, stated about the occurrences, “…we want to make it clear that there were 2 incidents over 10 days that occurred OFF CAMPUS, and the police were notified and are investigating.”
In response to this incident, Public Safety included precautions for all students to take in order to prevent being a target. The department encourages all students to stay alert and aware of the surrounding area as well as avoid walking alone. Hofstra also urges students to request the night shuttle or request an escort on campus by calling the Public Safety information line at (516) 463-6606.
Generally, students were appalled by these reports. Dimitryus Graziani, a freshman film major, said, “I think it’s pretty disrespectful. I don’t understand why somebody would think anyone would find that a pleasant experience.”
Adryana Maestas, a freshman Spanish and pre-med major, said of the reported incidents, “I think it’s really sad that people feel the need to do this. It’s disrespectful to other people. You should have respect for other people.”
Students also had suggestions to prevent future incidents of this nature.
“I think Public Safety should be more vigilant about who they allow on to the campus and who’s allowed to park in the vicinity. I think that maybe if people had to swipe in during the day as well, I think that wouldn’t be too radical of an idea,” Graziani said.
Hofstra is a recognized open campus where during the day, visitors are welcome. However, after 10 p.m. the campus is secured and only students are permitted access onto school grounds.
In regards to preventative measures against future acts of this nature, Maestas felt there should be “more Public Safety [officers] driving around and just being more aware of people who aren’t supposed to be on campus and are on campus.”
As a last remark about the incident, Graziani said, “I hope that the Public Safety officers are trying to be more aware of who is on campus and who’s driving around on campus so that they can make sure that this incident doesn’t happen again and that they can keep people safe and prevent them from not being traumatized.”
The Nassau County and Hempstead Police Departments have been informed of the event and have increased their patrols in the area as well.