Security systems updated in some residence halls

McDonald+Hall

Steven W. Echard

McDonald Hall

To increase residence hall safety, Residence Life is upgrading both the Personal Entry Device systems and the camera systems in residence halls.

The PED is being updated to a newer software system that allows for “greater functionality,” said Sarah Waters, director of Residence Life.

In addition to updating the PED system, Residence Life also continues to upgrade the camera systems at the different halls, Waters said.

It will continue to put more cameras in and around the residence hall.

One residence hall that saw significant upgrades to safety measures was McDonald Hall.

“We relocated the front desk for a better access and a more visible spot,” Waters said.

Waters said the desk makes it safer because of the way students now go through the building.

“It has a more natural flow into the residence hall, and it’s along a walking path, it is more readily accessible,” she said.

Sophomore Isaiah Boyce said he thinks security and safety varies with each residence hall.

“In Offenhauer, there are more entrances to the building, but in Falcon Heights all the entrances lead to the front desk,” Boyce said.

But safety precautions remain relatively similar across campus, said Dan Boyle, Offenhauer hall director. And while new safety measures are being implemented in the residence halls, the reliable measures will still remain.

All residence halls have a 24-hour staffed front desk, Boyle said.

“Any student who has a need for safety can go to the front desk at any hour,” he said.

Staff members also patrol the buildings each night.

“Every evening we have at least two staff members who do community walks on the building to make sure that everything is going well, and make sure there are no issues or concerns,” he said.

One common problem in the residence halls is students propping the doors so students do not have to check in.

“If any student is found propping doors there is a potential they could find their way to the judicial system here on campus,” Boyle said.

Students should take their safety into their own hands, Waters said.

Waters advises students to lock their doors and always carry their keys and IDs.

They should remain aware of their surroundings at all times, she said.

“Students become really comfortable in their communities,” she said. “So they lose sight that they need to be monitoring their guests, locking their doors and watching for both their personal safety as well as their personal property.”