This archived article was written by: Les Bowen, Stuart Lake
This past Monday a regulation was instituted on campus changing the hours when residence halls will be locked. Outside doors are now locked at all times.
In addition to the regular concerns about students’ safety and theft deterrence, concern has been raised over minors visiting some of the halls. While we recognize that these are issues that need to be addressed, we question the effectiveness that this policy will have on current situations in on-campus housing.
After discussing the change with a number of students, we gathered that most plan to simply prop outside doors open, or disable the locking mechanisms.
Many cited that they wished to let their friends into the buildings without having to walk from their rooms to the entrances.
Few schools around the state have similar policies. Only two schools in the state have chosen to lock the outside entrances during the day: Weber State University and University of Utah, both of which have a method in place so that visitors can call residents from a phone or callbox outside the building.
Both of those schools are on the Wasatch Front, which has a higher crime rate and more problems to deal with.
The solution to these problems could be found in proper training of the resident advisers. RAs are the first recourse for residents. Residents should be impressed that RAs have adequate training.
However, many health-related subjects have not been addressed adequately among residents living in on-campus housing. By failing to address subjects such as rape and sexual assault, the college is accepting liability in the event that such an incident happens and goes unreported or is handled improperly.
Leaving residents in ignorance of their rights and resources is a weak policy. CEU has an obligation to inform its customers, the students, of these rights and resources, and has failed to do so in an appropriate manner.
Problems with unwanted visitors should be handled by RAs, who can contact campus police when necessary. As far as theft is concerned, residents should simply lock their doors. Locking the outside doors frustrates residents and their visitors, without solving any problems.
Another area which requires immediate attention is the lack of lighting on campus. The only emergency call box on campus is conveniently located in the most difficult area to access, between the SAC and library.
So if someone is being pursued, they only have to outrun their assailant for a quarter of a mile, running down dimly lit sidewalks, and make it to the emergency call box. It’s more fun than a game of capture the flag.
The construction on campus is surely to blame for some of the outages. But lights are out on the other side of campus in the Burtenshaw/Tucker parking lot.
Even with difficulties of construction, priority should be made for students’ safety.
So lock the doors, turn off the lights and don’t let anyone go out and play. We’re not 12-year-olds. Students are going to be out late. And with all the concern over safety, more concern should be placed on lights.
But before everyone hides in their dorms and turns into hermits, we have to point out that there are fun, safe activities in which to participate on campus.
Take the game room in the JLSC for instance. They have ping-pong tables, billiards and a wall lined with arcade games that were cool in 1992.
Like many other areas on campus, the game room could use some improvements. Newer arcade games, refinished pool tables, and maybe an air hockey table would make it a better. But it’s still fun. More students should hang out there. Grab lunch in the cafeteria, and kill some time in the game room when finished.
If you can escape your prison cell of a dorm, and as long as you are back before dark or bring a flashlight, CEU will soon have large grassy areas to play on, perfect for the occasional game of Frisbee. And as long as someone keeps watering them, we’ll be able to play there in the spring.
And finally, we have to give props to ASCEU for such a great activity last weekend. Sure, the student body has a pinkish glow, but it’ll come out in the end.
ASCEU has a ton of activities planned. We support their efforts to make this year a memorable one and their efforts to stand up for the students.