Daily Collegian Febuary 1979

Arson probe continues;

Pierpont refutes image



Collegian Staff

Evidence crucial to the investigation of Monday morning's attempted homicide by arson of Pierpont Head of Residence,-Thomas Whitford will not be examined until sometime next week, according to a chemistry laboratory spokesperson from state police headquarters in Boston.

Meanwhile, many of the 300 Pierpont residents expressed concern about their media image at a dormitory meeting last evening. At the meeting Southwest Master-Director James H. Matlack introduced senior staff member Lloyd Adalist, who has been assigned to Pierpont during Whitford's absence on an eight-hour daily basis, beginning Sunday.

Laboratory spokesperson Frank Hankyard yesterday said a package of criminal evidence to be examined by state police has remained unopened since UMass' Sgt. Philip A. Cavanaugh delivered the material Tuesday.

Cavanaugh, who describe the investigation as "active," would not comment on its progress or say how many; if any, students had been questioned by his department.

Pierpont resident Assistant Maggie Carson, speaking on behalf of the student staff of the dormitory, yesterday said she was alarmed at the reputation Pierpont has on and off campus.

"It is no longer one of the major drug centers, and that is mostly attributed to Tom and his work in the dorm," she said. "If kids were to walk through this dorm they would not think it was any different than any other."

Carson said, 60 percent of the dormitory residents were new this year and that Whitford had encouraged a lot of policing by students to decrease incoming traffic, looking for drugs.

"A lot of people think we're drug addictsóradicals," she continued, "I think you'll find we're really conservative-politically that is." She said the residents were very concerned about social issues. Carson said there is an unfounded mystique associated with the dormitory throughput the campus. "When people moved into this dorm they inherited the history of Pierpont," she said.

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