Evan Benton, Staff Writer

When roaming the dormitories of George Mason University late at night, even the least-observant resident may notice the black-suited men and women that roam them, too.

Armed with thin black rods that resemble lightsabers, these black suits travel from dorm to dorm, stopping at particular doorways to scan these rods at corresponding sensors. They continue their appointed rounds until daylight, maintaining a schedule that sees them seemingly monitoring Mason’s dorms while its resident students are sleeping.

But, in college, many students don’t keep normal hours.

“I do my laundry later than most people—mostly because you can’t seem to get an open machine before midnight,” said Sreeram Mohanan, a sophomore computer engineering major. “And every single time I’m doing it late at night, I see [them] in the student lounge watching television.”

Watching television?

The emblem on the collars and lapels of the men and women in question display the word “Securitas,” with a corresponding logo of three red circles.

One of the largest private security companies in the world, Securitas, Inc. operates in over 40 countries, with close to 250,000 employees. Services provided are specialized guarding and mobile services, monitoring and investigations.

Mason’s housing office hired Securitas in 2006, when record-setting enrollment made necessary the need for more dormitories and therefore more security. The housing office states their official university functions as securing common areas, providing assistance to the Mason Police, and helping to maintain an environment that is conducive to sleeping and studying.

“They make rounds, do reports, and deal with anyone who is breaking laws,” said Steve Morehouse, associate director at Office of Housing and Residence Life.

One can assume that Morehouse would be more than interested to hear of Securitas, Inc. employees spending their twilight hours watching late-night television in the student lounge, rather than investigating the multitude offenses that could be happening at any given moment in the dorms.

“What about people partying too loud at 2 a.m., or vandalizing the hallway bulletin boards?” Mohanan said. “How about all the people that go in and out of the building every day that aren’t even residents? This stuff happens every night practically, and yet they feel that it’s all [safe] enough to sit down and watch some MTV.”

As the only patrolling security on campus from late evening to early morning, Securitas’ role is vital to safeguarding Mason’s students.

“It makes me wonder just how secure things are around here,” said Monahan.