Iowa State amends agreement with Knights on the Move

By Katherine Klingseis, katherine.klingseis@iowastatedaily.com

In response to the events that took place on June 29, Iowa State has amended its agreement with Knights on the Move.

“We have put up enough safeguards to help prevent events like this from happening again,” said Nancy Brooks, director of ISU Purchasing Department.

Brooks said that Knights on the Move was bid successfully for a six-week-long project that involved moving furniture in on-campus housing units. She explained that Iowa State does not award contracts to bidders solely on the basis of bid size.

“We don’t just choose the low bidder. We look at their previous experience at Iowa State and their past quality of work,” Brooks said. “There are a lot of components in the evaluation criteria.”

Knights on the Move had previous experience working on the ISU campus, Brooks said. She said the company was subcontracted to work on the ISU campus in 2009 by a Florida-based broker.

“A report from [the Department of] Residence said they did a fantastic job,” Brooks said. “So we had a good background with them with their care in moving.”

Brooks said that Knights on the Move was contracted by Iowa State to help move furniture for three days for six different weeks.

On June 29, Knights on the Move worker Philip Siragusa was reported missing after leaving the site of the work project. Later that day, a Frederiksen Court resident reported that a person matching Siragusa’s description entered her apartment and assaulted her.

Following that incident, Iowa State has made amendments to its agreement with Knights on the Move, Brooks said. Two of the amendments have to do with workers’ histories.

“Basically, we require that no one with a history of violence be assigned to the workforce,” Brooks said. “We require that no one with any past incidents in the sexual nature be assigned to the workforce.”

Brooks said that all workers must have a clean record for six months before they will be allowed to work on the ISU campus. Knights on the Move must give Iowa State the names, pictures and identification of its workers. She said that the workers must also make themselves identifiable while on campus, preferably by wearing their Knights on the Move shirts.

The agreement was further amended to make Knights on the Move increase the number of supervisors who oversee workers from one supervisor for every three workers to two supervisors for every three workers, Brooks said. She said that the workers will also be barred from talking to ISU students, faculty and guests.

Brooks said that ISU’s contract with Knights on the Move will end this Friday. She said that no decisions have been made regarding ISU’s future relationship with Knights on the Move.

“We are still having discussion regarding which direction we want to take,” Brooks said. “The safety of our students, faculty and staff is very important to us. We are reviewing this at our highest levels.”

William “Bill” Dean, executive director of the Woodward Academy, could not be reached for comment.

(Posted originally on Iowastatedaily.com on July 17, 2011)

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