Issue: Resolution 13-12-R calls for an increase in accessibility to residence halls on campus.
On March 17, resolution 13-12-R was brought to the table. Its title: An Act to Increase Residence Hall Accessibility for Students. It brings issues to senate about students not being able to create and embrace a sense of community, since access to residence halls is only allowed to those who live there.
We think that it is unwise to consider lessening security in residence halls on campus, especially in a society where school violence is becoming prevalent.
Just three months into 2014 there have already been acts of violence resulting in death on two college campuses. One shooting happened at Purdue University in Indiana and another shooting took place at South Carolina State University. Next to education, safety is a big concern for those who attend a university, and having residence hall doors with open access at any given time can be a massive security risk.
This resolution asks that the doors be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It does not specify if this would include weekends. This time frame is chosen because this is when classes are held, according to the sponsors of the resolution. Which makes sense, but the two shootings mentioned above happened during the day when classes were in session.
While the resolution also calls for students to have access to residence hall lobbies at any time with their student ID, there are many buildings on campus open to anyone. If students who live in separate residence halls want to meet, there are a large variety of public meeting spaces on campus including but not limited to a large variety of academic buildings, The Union, the Hilton M. Briggs Library and The Wellness Center.
Community is important. We understand that. However, we don’t think it’s necessary to let anyone have access to peoples’ place of residence, especially when some people can pose a threat to safety.
The majority of people affected by this possible policy change are not represented on the resolution. It has not been made clear what students living in residence halls want and how they feel about all of this. Only two out of five of the sponsors are known to be current on-campus residents. The voices of two do not speak for the potential 4,123 students living on campus.
Stance: Resolution 13-12-R is a security risk for those who live on campus.