STRIPES tightens Aspen Heights drop-off policy after lockdown

Friday, November 1, 2013 | 9:10 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — STRIPES, an MU student-run organization that offers free rides to MU students, has decided that its drivers will no longer bring people who do not have a gate clicker to the Aspen Heights housing complex, according to a STRIPES news release issued Thursday.

Aspen Heights has been on temporary lockdown since Oct. 14. The complex has seen a series of incidents involving resident safety this fall, including an Oct. 6 party at the housing complex that ended with shots fired. No injuries or property damage were reported after that incident.

Every Aspen Heights resident has a clicker that opens the gates to the complex. They can also usually use a code to open the gates.

However, gate code access has been disabled during the lockdown, so residents and approved guests must use a gate clicker to enter the property, according to the news release.

In response to the lockdown, STRIPES will take patrons to the complex only if they have a gate clicker, according to the release.

STRIPES made this change with a concern for residents' safety in mind, STRIPES spokeswoman Mel Mazuc said.

"Residents at Aspen Heights can get a little crazy," Mazuc said. "We want to make sure patrons can get dropped off close-by and not have to walk far to get home."

STRIPES has not decided whether the Aspen Heights policy will remain in effect after the lockdown ends.

The organization is also considering expanding a tighter drop-off policy to every complex that drivers serve to deter people from going to complexes where they do not live.

Aspen Heights is also implementing its own additional security measures.

Residents are not allowed to have more than four guests at one time, and guests must check in with the security officer at the front gate.

"(These measures) have definitely helped our security team with the number of people that are coming onto the property," said Stuart Watkins, spokesman for the housing complex.

Aspen Heights will continue to discuss the newly implemented policies and will decide whether to make them permanent, Watkins said.

"The safety and security of our residents is a top priority," he said.

Supervising editor is Margaux Henquinet.

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Mark Foecking November 2, 2013 | 5:17 a.m.

And people wonder why young professionals don't want to share an apartment building with students.


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