May 10, 2007
By George Mauzy
Kent Smith, vice president for student affairs, announced that effective 10 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, most exterior residence hall doors will be locked 24 hours a day.
"Locking exterior residence hall doors is simply an effort to better ensure the safety and security of students living in our residence halls," Smith said. "Residence hall security is something we evaluate periodically, and I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the task force in the near future."
There are a few exceptions to this new policy. The main entrances to Boyd and Jefferson halls will only be locked all day on Saturday and Sunday, while Bromley and Scott Quad halls will not be affected by the policy.
Exceptions in these buildings were made because of the need for access to staff offices or dining halls during weekdays. Access to Scott Quad residential sections will continue to be locked 24 hours a day. Bromley is locked down from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Smith informed students of the change via an e-mail message yesterday. The message states that because residence hall security is an extremely high priority, a task force of students and staff has been convened to review safety and security issues. He also reminds the students that residence hall security is a "community responsibility."
"This policy will make for a safer and more secure environment in the residence halls, so tRAC is in support of it," said Kevin Yurasek, chairman of the Residents' Action Council. "The Virginia Tech incident pushed the issue of campus safety to the forefront, but this is something that we have been discussing for some time. It feels good to know that everything is being done to provide more safety in the residence halls."
Under the old policy, the 41 residence hall main entrance doors were opened every morning by 8 a.m. by custodial staff and locked each night by residence hall staff no later than 10 p.m.