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Peep and pay: maintenance workers peeped, but UC may pay. (Update).

Security lapses that allowed maintenance workers to drill peepholes through the walls of utility closets and peer at female students while they showered in University of Colorado dorms may end up costing the school plenty in legal damages. This summer, nine women who lived at the Boulder campus's Farrand Hall (a women's dorm) retained John Zakhem, a Denver attorney, to represent them. Zakhem wants a formal apology for his clients, but also wants the school to compensate the women for their ordeal (a figure was not disclosed). At press time, it was unclear if the number of plaintiffs would grow; more peepholes were recently discovered at two of Boulder's co-ed dorms.

Pauline Hale, UC spokesperson, claims that the university discovered the peepholes and notified students about them in the spring. But Zakhem tells a different story. He says his clients were nervous and suspicious last September when workmen were loitering in Farrand Hall. One woman notified authorities when she caught a man's face peering at her from a shower drain.

"[UC officials] determined they didn't have the resources to meet the requirement for additional security," he says. Hale, however, denies the school hesitated in addressing the situation. "The peepholes were found by our own staff," she insists. The university plans to tighten security by installing key card systems on the bathroom doors and utility closets, a move that will limit access while keeping a digital log of comings and goings.
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Author:Angelo, Jose Marie
Publication:University Business
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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