Housing and Residence Life introduced drastic changes to entry and exit policy to keep students safe in the current crime wave. Last October, an assault was reported in Bowdon Hall, along with an onslaught of crimes close to campus. Since then strict visitation as well as entry and exit policies have been put in place to minimize crime. In addition to RAs, ResStar, a 24-hour service desk for students, now has employees stationed at the main entrance of every residence hall. Residents must check in and check out each time they leave their building and may only enter through the front door main entrance. Also, you must sign in your guests at the front desk, and if that guest is of the opposite gender, they must sign in and sign back out.
While the new rules were put in place to make students feel safe, some students felt otherwise. “I’ve always felt safe on campus, all these new ResStar people create a bigger hassle than necessary.” said Destiny McCowan, an Arbor View resident. “It makes it hard to access all the points of my building, and it makes my life inconvenient. I think it’s stupid and a waste of time.”
Prior to the incident, there was no exit and entrance policy for residents, and the visitation policy was quite lax. “In the past, the protocol was usually to let your roommate know, if possible your RA, but not necessary,” said Jovan Jinks, an Arbor View RA and ResStar employee. “If it was an opposite sex guest, then you had to really verify with your roommate, and they couldn’t spend the night.”
“People are still learning what the front desk position entails,” said Jinks. “I think it’s a smart and useful system to use. It verifies occupants who stay in the building and those who don’t. If someone tries to enter using a false I.D. then it is confiscated and they are asked to leave, if they refuse to leave then ResStar notifies UPD and they handle it from there.” According to Jinks, Housing and Residence Life staff also endured two full weeks of vigorous training before the semester started, which included sessions on crisis training, response training and risk management training. “Housing is doing all they can to ensure that resident safety is the number one priority.”