Caught Breaking Into Admission Record Rm., Student Faces Charges

Early on Sunday, Nov. 2, MIT Police arrested Shaunalynn M. Duffy ’09 for allegedly breaking into the Freshman Admission Records Office (3-001), according to a police report.

Duffy told the police that she was looking for her records and for her laptop, which she had accidentally left in the room. Duffy is charged with one count of breaking and entering, and one count of possession of a burglarious instrument.

According to the report, the “burglarious instrument” was a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card that Duffy said she used to gain access to the office. Duffy did not say she was hacking.

Officer Katrina L. Thompson responded to the burglary alarm at 6 a.m. to find Duffy alone in the locked office with the lights turned off, according to the police report. The report and criminal docket are available online at:

Duffy told Thompson, “I was trying to get my old records and look for my laptop that I left here,” the report states. The Admission Records Office keeps information from the admissions process, including “E-3” cards (summarizing test scores and applicant information) and detailed application reader comments. The records are freely available for students to view, but are destroyed after a year because of a lack of storage space.

According to the police report, Duffy said she got into the locked office by using her Dunkin’ Donuts card and admitted that she was not authorized to be in the office.

When Sergeant Gerald P. Doyle and Officer Anthony R. Rosanio arrived at the scene, Thompson handcuffed and arrested Duffy at Doyle’s instruction. Duffy was driven to the Cambridge Police Department where she was interviewed by Officer Joseph Amoroso.

Duffy told Amoroso that she had visited the office the week prior to find her old records, but members of the office told her that the paperwork had been purged. She also left the she accidently left her laptop in the room.

Amoroso asked Duffy why she hadn’t called MIT Admissions to gain access to the office. Duffy said she did not know why. Duffy was released from the station at 9:45 that morning.

In an e-mail to The Tech, Undergraduate Association President Noah Jessop wrote, “From the evidence outstanding … it seems pretty clearly to not be a hacking case. I don’t know anyone who would classify an Admissions records office to be a hacking location.”

Jessop suggested that criminal charges might not have been necessary. “MIT has infrastructure to handle these sorts of things internally through the Committee on Discipline,” he wrote.

Made up of faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and Deans’ offices representatives, the Committee on Discipline acts to “adjudicate cases of alleged misconduct by a student brought to its attention.” The Committee and MIT Police declined to comment on the Duffy case, citing privacy concerns.