Security, Residence Life openminded about open buildings

by Sara Heim

Giving free access to residence halls to all students on campusdoes not seem to worry either Residence Life or Security staffmembers.

“Everybody pays room and board,” said Mandy Fox, director ofresidence life. “People have friends living in buildings other thantheir own that they should be able to go and see.”

Apparently, Residence Life staff members have been talking aboutmaking the change to open access for some time.

“They are doing it to promote more of a community, instead of aKresge community or a Barker community,” Resident Assistant TashaBeenken said. “It is also more conducive to social and academicfunctions.”

On the other hand, there are students who think this measurewon’t change anything.

“I don’t think it makes a difference because people get in nomatter what,” sophomore Ashley Bregar said.

Due to security reasons, this free access will be limited tocertain hours and days of the week.

Students will be able to access the residence halls Mondaythrough Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Theme houses, fraternitiesand sororities won’t be part of this free access program.

“Conservative hours are in place to take students fears ofsecurity issues into account,” Fox said. “That will take care of oreliminate those issues.”

Weekends are excluded from the free access hours in order toprevent unauthorized individuals from wandering around theresidence halls.

According to Director of Security Chris Frerichs, his officewill still be able to keep track of what individuals are in thebuildings during those hours.

“The system knows when somebody is trying to get in a buildingas long as they are using their own card,” Frerichs said. “Oursystem will recognize an identification card being used.”

ID cards are issued and assigned to specific students, so theyshould only be used by those students.

It is important for students to let the security office know iftheir ID is lost so they can deactivate it, according toFrerichs.

One of the concerns about this new measure was the possibilityof more vandalism. However, vandalism has not been a problem in anyresidence hall that is open to on-campus residents.

“If there is increased vandalism or other security issues, theycan turn it off,” Beenken said. “It is a temporary thing.”

Frerichs said the Simpson community is still adjusting to theall-access IDs.

“There are always glitches here and there, but we will figureout the problems and fix them,” Frerichs said.

The Residence Life staff is hoping to expand the hours and daysthe residence halls are open in the future if the change issucessful.

“It’s not hard to change or go back,” Frerichs said. “If we wantto expand we can do that as well. We have a very flexible systemthat allows us to do this.”