Residence hall side entrances to close for security

Reporter and Reporter

Beginning this summer, the University will phase out all entrances to residence halls except for main lobby entrances.

In order to allow for better oversight and security within residence halls, all doors other than main entrances will become alarmed emergency exits, similar to the current systems in place within Centennial Hall and Falcon Heights, said Sarah Waters, director of Residence Life.

The changes will be completed by fall 2012, she said.

“Our priorities are always safety and security first,” said Matt Bloomingdale, a hall director in Founders.

“Here in Founders we have eight entrances, so by going to one entrance and encouraging students to use the main doors to enter the building, I think it will help us better understand the traffic flow and ensure that we know who’s coming into the building so our students feel a little more safe and secure in their environment,” he said.

Other institutions already have this kind of system in place within their residence halls, Waters said.

“It’s really the national standard that this is how most [residence halls] are constructed and how most residence life programs tend to operate, and so the fact that BGSU hadn’t shifted is something that we assessed and looked at,” Waters said.

Issues with doors being propped open also prompted Residence Life to re-examine their door policy. By making these changes, they hope to eliminate the problem, Waters said.

When doors are propped open under the current system, the hall staff does not know about it until Resident Advisers go on their rounds, which poses a security risk, Bloomingdale said.

In addition to alarms, new cameras will be installed near the new emergency exits and will allow hall staff to monitor and follow up with any students who attempt to use the doors, Waters said.

Aware that some students may not be pleased with the new door policy, Waters said the security of the community is the priority.

“I think that it’s a shift, and anytime you shift or change things, people don’t tend to like it,” Waters said. “From a bigger perspective, when considering the oversight and the security that this will allow the buildings to have when there’s better oversight over doors not being propped, I think we’re doing what’s right,” she said.

Taylor Kirsch, a freshman in Kreischer, said that while the new policy will be less convenient, she understands the need for security.

“It’s kind of nice being able to walk to my side of the hall instead of going to one entrance because we have so many entrances in Kreischer,” Kirsch said. “I like that, but I guess it’s safer for one entrance, so whatever is safer I guess,” she said.