At 8 a.m. on Oct. 25, Prescott and Rees, the two main dorms on campus, became permanently locked. In order to enter, students must now scan their student ID cards to unlock the doors during open hours, such as 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. This change was in response to the recent security issues we've had on campus including a stranger rummaging through personal property. Deans Patterson and Braithwaite also announced on a pin-up in Rees Hall that due to recent activity in the neighborhood, the doors will be permanently locked to help ensure the safety of students on campus.
I’ll admit, I was initially irritated with the change. As I sat in class a few hours after receiving the notifying email, I listened to others grumble about all the security updates. First the golf carts disappear, and now the dorms are permanently locked?
However, upon asking some Resident Assistants (RAs) their thoughts on the change, I was met with positive responses.
Sophomore English major Maddie Temple, who is an RA on Rees 4th West said, “Well, personally I approve of the locked dorms. I admit, having to always carry your key can be a bit of a pain, but safety is more important to me. Because we live in town where anyone can come on campus, taking precautions is necessary.”
As the week progressed, I started to hear fellow students echo Temple’s thoughts. Although a slight inconvenience, they felt safer with the locked doors. Sophomore international rescue and relief major Austin Miller shared his thoughts with me, saying, “It's about time, in my opinion. It's a security measure that should have been done long ago. Many people here haven't experienced a break in; it's terrifying. People forget that someone could come in and take your stuff.”
When I spoke with students, I found they actually weren’t upset about having to carry their ID around, but about having to get new ID cards. If the student ID cards aren’t registering with the scanner, they should be taken up to Information Services, or new ones can be ordered through portal.
Prescott resident and sophomore nursing major Giovanni Agra was one of the many students who had to replace their IDs. But, he’s not complaining too much. “I don’t see it as a waste of $10, because I want to be safe. It’s just more of a ‘ugh’ sort of thing. You know how everyone doesn’t like change, but it’s not really a big deal.”
Sophomore theology major and RA on Rees 2nd West Liz McDonald summed up the situation well, concluding the discussion with the thought, “I know that many people are annoyed with it, but the school is doing it for our own safety. Many colleges have dormitories locked so I don't see anything too crazy about the idea. Union wants to ensure that everyone on campus is safe and sound; I can't be angry with that.”
Autumn Mott is a sophomore studying communication.