Staff editorial: Dec 15, 2011

Story by The Spectator Staff

Beginning next semester, all residence hall entrances will remain locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, accessible only with a Blugold card. From 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. daily, students will have access only to their own residence hall with their card, according to an article in last week’s issue of The Spectator.

This policy will help to prevent unwanted persons from entering the dorms, which has occurred a few times over the past few years. It can be argued, though, that even one occurrence is one too many and too great a risk to take.

Other UW System campuses have similar policies for entrance into the dorms, including UW-Green Bay and UW-Stevens Point. Initial complaint from students is to be expected, but incoming freshman inhabiting the dorms next fall will start their college experience with the policy and not know the difference.

Additionally, Blugold cards are used for so much else on campus — from accessing meal plan dollars to getting into campus events to picking up a newspaper from the College Readership program — that having the card with you is second nature. Access to the dorms is just one more use for a card that students already carry.

One concern is losing your Blugold card and it being found and used by someone who is not a student and not authorized to enter the dorms. To combat this occurrence, personnel-run security stations will continue to be used.

This shift to more strict security measures can help to shift the general culture of campus security. It is an opportunity to educate students on all security policies, including not letting someone inside if they claim to have forgotten their Blugold card. We can create a culture where such a practice isn’t considered rude, but instead is regarded as a normal
safety measure.

We have a safe campus without major incidents, but we shouldn’t risk it. Dorms are students’ homes, where they should feel safe.