Bonaventure Director of Safety and Security defends staff in VCU aftermath

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

St. Bonaventure Director of Safety and Security Gary Segrue said in an e-mail on Monday that his staff isn’t to blame for the ending of Saturday’s Bona-VCU game.

“Despite what has been portrayed in the media about a lack of security,” Segrue said, “I believe the men and women of Safety and Security did an excellent job in handling all aspects of this great game given the circumstances.”

On Sunday, the Atlantic 10 Conference released a statement clarifying the one-shot technical foul that was called on Bonaventure following Matt Mobley’s go-ahead three-pointer. The free throw was made, resulting in the game going into overtime, where VCU won 83-77.

The A-10 said the game officials’ citing crowd interference as the rationale for the technical was “inaccurately associated with the SBU students and fans storming the court during regulation.”

Rather, the conference cited two reasons for the “T.” The most significant was an individual, identified as a Bona security guard, taking the ball from the inbounding baseline (assuming time had expired) and walking down the sideline, causing a VCU player to look for the ball and chase the person so he could inbound the ball. As that was occurring, one of the referees collided with a non-student fan prior to the inbound pass. After those violations, the league acknowledged, the clock expired and students and fans stormed the court with no time left on the clock.

The league said the officiating crew would be disciplined for not immediately stopping the game as a result of the misrepresentation, which “reflected poorly on the SBU student body.”

While Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said he did not blame any one person or group for his team’s victory-turned-defeat, he also said, “I’m not sure what the protocol is for us with the security so the students don’t storm the court…. whatever protocol or whatever it is, we didn’t have. To have our guys lose that way is a travesty.”

Segrue, who was hired to head up the department in June 2015, determined the protocol in place to be followed and carried out properly.

“Proper security protocols, which were developed in concert with the Department of Athletics, were in place and executed at the conclusion of regulation,” he noted.

“With that said, we are always willing to use any incident as a learning experience and change protocols should they be ineffective in accomplishing our goal, which is the protection of students, spectators, players, coaches and officials.”

As for the security officer who grabbed the basketball and, according to the A-10, set off the controversy? Segrue said he was following a common procedure, but that security would not assist in retrieving balls in the future.

“I believe retrieving an errant basketball is something that is performed by security officers throughout the course of a game,” Segrue said. “What made this problematic is that simultaneously a non-student spectator entered the court and made contact with an official. The security officer properly attempted to address the fanatic, however without handing the ball to an official.

“Should one of the three officials stopped play at that point? I cannot professionally answer. I have taken the steps to ensure my officers do not assist with the retrieval of errant basketballs in the future.”

For Bonaventure, it was the fourth court-storming in the last four years, but the first in Segrue’s tenure.


Bona’s security emphasizes dorm safety in demonstration

[The mock dorm room, pre-flame – Photos by Jessica Gallichio]

By Kevin Smith, Staff Writer

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Sept. 29) A crowd of about 40 people was on hand to witness a mock demonstration of a dorm fire Thursday at 7 p.m. on the lawn of Devereux Hall. With the St. Bonaventure University Safety and Security Services speaking and the Allegany Fire Department presenting the event, the mock dorm fire began.

A 64-square-foot box, made to look like a dorm room, had the basics of a typical dorm room– a microwave, too many electric cords to count, hanging lights and other things considered dangerous to have in a dorm.

“Anything from a lit candle to a microwave sparking can lead to dorm fires,” said Vito Czyz, director of Safety and Security Services. “It is important to be aware of what to have and not to have in a dorm that could be hazardous.”

Bonaventure students’ commented on the importance of what Czyz and Safety and Security Services taught before and after the demonstration.

“Safety in a dorm is the number one thing students should know when living in a room,” said Erik Jones, a senior education major. “Kids need to know not to burn the popcorn.”

Once Czyz finished the guidelines of promoting dorm room safety and possibilities of what could happen in a dorm fire, the Allegany Fire Department ignited a flame in the mock dorm. Kerosene had already been poured into the mock dorm to start the fire quickly, but even then, it didn’t take long for the fire to spread all over.

After a minute and 50 seconds, the fire fully engulfed the dorm room, and in three minutes and 30 seconds, everything in the small room had been burnt.

After the fire had completely spread through the dorm, “the chance of a fire department having a search and rescue is out of the question,” added Czyz.  

After the Allegany Fire Department put the fire out with a fire hose, almost everything had been destroyed or completely charred like coal by the fire.

“This is why promoting safety procedures in your dorm room are very important,” added Czyz. “Remember to limit yourself to surge protectors, no microwaves,and no candles as well.”

 When students first saw the dorm catch on fire, they gasped in disbelief.  

 It’s just amazing to see this up front and in person,” said Tim Crino, a junior journalism and mass communication major. “I never thought dorm room fires could be this drastic.”

Even though no dorm fires have occurred at Bonas, it’s still a “serious issue around the world,” said one security official.

Another security official mentioned there are over 15,000 dorm room fire occurrences every year due to negligence and unexpected items catching on fire.

“With that in mind, the safety of dorm rooms should be practiced on a regular basis to prevent a possible occurrence of fires,” said a security official who didn’t want to release his name.

In the end, Czyz commented on what he hoped comes of this event.

“If students learn dorm room safety, it can make a transition with other students as well when they practice safe living habits,” Czyz added.

Alleged morning assault hospitalizes student

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE (Sept. 11) — An SBU student was allegedly assaulted by a group of males and females early Sunday morning. The student had been walking back to campus by himself when the alleged incident took place.

Vito Czyz, director of Safety and Security, was reached on the matter. 

“During the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, a St. Bonaventure University student was allegedly assaulted by a group of males and females after leaving an off-campus student residence in the vicinity of 7th Street in the Village of Allegany,” said Czyz. “The student was walking alone when he was confronted and sustained injuries which required hospitalization overnight at Olean General Hospital.”

It is not known how much time elapsed, but shortly after the incident the student was treated by members of MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team). Once the student was being taken care of by MERT, the security department staff was notified about the incident. 

While there was no formal notification from the Allegany Police Department, the APD is investigating.

“The Allegany Police Department is investigating this incident and is in the process of developing additional information,” said Czyz. 

Many students may be worried for their own safety, but steps are being taken to try and prevent such an instance from happening again. 

“Our department is promoting general awareness about off campus activities after hours, asking for the assistance of the campus community to solve this crime, and working closely with local law enforcement authorities in sharing relevant information pertaining to the crime,” said Czyz.  

This incident is currently under investigation by the Allegany Police Department (APD). Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to provide details to the APD (716-373-0873) or the SBU Safety and Security Department (716-375-2525).

The safety and security of students on and off campus is the highest priority of the University. As a reminder to all students, day to day personal safety tips are provided below which should always be adhered to : 
  • When walking both on and off-campus during evening hours always travel with at least one other person. 
  • Utilize the Bona Bus whenever possible. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people near you. 
  • Always inform a friend of your destination and whereabouts.

Student says items in car stolen

ST. BONAVENTURE (Oct. 15) — A student said she had about $350 worth of items stolen from her car Friday in the parking lot near the tennis courts.

Megan Junker, a sophomore marketing major, said she believes someone crawled into her Jeep Wrangler by unzipping the back window. She said her GPS, roughly valued at $300, was the most expensive item missing.

According to a Safety and Security Services incident report, Junker filed the report at 7:09 p.m. Friday. Junker said she also filed a police report. 

Village of Allegany Police Department has not responded back by press time.