Access Denied:
Break-in effort at Pub unsuccessful
Jesse Richards - September 25, 1998

The barbarians are at the gate here at Drew, at least judging from the damage done to The Pub. A break-in attempt early Tuesday morning resulted in a shattered ceiling, hanging live electrical wires, and a significant amount of damage done to The Pub's security gate.

The main entrance of The Pub is located in the University Center in a hallway connecting the former all-night study lounge and The Acorn office with a set of bathrooms. Senior Jesse Richards discovered the wreckage Tuesday around 4:15 p.m. while passing through the hallway, and called Russell Sprague, The Pub's Operations Manager. Coincidentally, Brian Hughes, Student Activities Co-Coordinator and Staff Advisor to The Pub, happened upon the scene minutes later on his way to a training session for new Pub employees. Public Safety Officer Gerard Lecomte arrived on the scene promptly, along with Student Activites Co-Coordinator Katrina Healy and Andrew Steiner, Manager of Residence Life.

The vertically opening security gate had been bashed in, with several rungs bent back, but the offenders were not able to break in and enter The Pub itself. Dirt on the rungs led Public Safety to speculate that the gate had been kicked at, or possibly climbed up. The ceiling in the hallway had been damaged, with the tiles and insulation ripped out and a light fixture disconnected, suggesting that the offender or offenders attempted to climb over the gate through the ceiling. "They were foolish," Sprague said. "They were obviously looking for alcohol, but our drinks are under heavy lock and key. The gate rolls back, but they tried to climb over it. I'm just glad our defenses were strong enough to prevent them from vandalizing the interior of The Pub."

Hughes explained that The Pub is independent of the university, so the money to repair the damage will come directly from The Pub itself. "It's not going to be easy to repair," Hughes said. "This was a pointless, expensive crime that will unfortunately only cost the students," Hughes said. "Even if they got in, there's a four-inch thick door that leads to the beer, and the kegs are untapped every night."

Chief of Public Safety Tom Evans explained that Public Safety is investigating the vandalism but does not have much to work with. The doors to the study lounge and the outer set of doors to The Pub are always unlocked to allow access to the bathrooms, but Evans explained that they should have been locked since the lounge is no longer supposed to be open all night. Evans said that this was why the video camera hooked up in the hallway had been disconnected, and was not working on the morning of the break-in attempt.

Public Safety has narrowed down the time of the attempt to between 2 a.m., when Sprague left The Pub, to 10 a.m., when junior Carrie Richards saw the wreckage. "Since there was no light in the hallway, I just figured Facilities was working on it or something. I didn't realize that it was an act of vandalism," Richards said later Tuesday evening.

"Unless we get somebody to come forward, there's not much we can do," Evans explained. "Vandalism is one of the hardest crimes to deal with - fortunately, we have very little vandalism on campus."

Sprague assures students that the Pub is still opening on schedule tonight. "The Pub is opening this Friday, no matter what." Hughes agrees, "Facilities is working on fixing the gate, but even if it's not working, we'll let people in through The Space."