University of Central Florida officials on Thursday released several housing records showing their efforts to evict 30-year-old James Seevakumaran, the man whom authorities believe was plotting an attack on students at the campus.
One document is dated February 19, notifying Seevakumaran that, since he wasn't enrolled, he could no longer live on campus. Another one, dated February 25, informs him that his room has been re-keyed because of non-payment of boarding fees. University officials also confirmed that Seevakumaran's room was, in fact, inspected once this semester.
But UCF trustee Harris Rosen wants to take that one step further, recommending random inspections.
"If the RAs [resident assistants] see a box, he must ask would you, 'Please open the box.' If there's a closet that's locked, he must ask or she must ask, 'Could you please open the closet?' If the resident refuses, the campus police should be called," Rosen said during a meeting of the board of trustees on Thursday.
According to UCF's current policies, rooms should be checked twice a semester, and students are to be given advanced notice. However, the housing contract states that personal property in a residence hall may not be searched, unless law enforcement is involved. Law enforcement expert James Copenhaver says, even in the dorms, students are still protected by their right to privacy.
"The Constitution doesn't designate whether you're in college or a dorm or you're at 123 Elm street... in your home. That Fourth Amendment right is afforded to every one of us," said Copenhaver.
Students living in the dorms have mixed feelings. "I feel like that's taking the security a little too far," said one student. "If they have suspicions then I feel like that would be only exception," said another student
But when resident assistants do inspect rooms routinely, students say it's not a very thorough check.
"I know RA's check rooms now but they don't do it very frequently and sometimes they don't even really look they just open the door like okay good," said one student.
University officials say they will look at the issue of dorm inspections as part of their comprehensive review of this incident.