Feeling restricted lately? Campus police say a new policy restricting students’ access to their own residence hall is intended to increase security and reduce crime. But some students say the new restrictions are ineffective, inconvenient and contrary to Queens’ sense of community.
Unlike previous years when students could use their I.D. cards to access any of the residence halls, beginning this year that access has been restricted so students can only gain entrance into the residence hall in which they live.
Birkhead says the new security measure helps manage incidents that do and will happen on campus. Noting that most crime on campus is “student on student,” he said limited access to dorms reduces the opportunity for students and outsiders alike to commit a crime.
Residence hall thefts occur either because of unrestricted access or because students leave their doors unlocked, he adds. He hopes students will take more responsibility, including closing and locking dorm room doors as well as not just letting in someone to a residence hall who appears to be waiting outside.
Sophomore Chelsea Sanderson understands the restriction is intended to ensure safety on campus and for students. But she believes it is actually making the campus less secure because now students will let anyone in, thinking they’re just waiting to be let in. She believes students simply need to be more responsible, by closing their dorm door if they’re not inside and locking the door when they leave.
Senior Amelia Farmer says the new restriction takes away from the sense of a student community, which as a former R.A., she believes is important.
For junior Linderick Auber, the change has made it difficult for him to visit his brother, a freshman living on campus this year.
Greek life and athletes also have been impacted because the gym and Greek houses have been moved to Belk and Wireman. Junior Melissa Hinchman says the restrictions make integral parts of Greek rush, such as delivering membership bids, more difficult.
Many students said they don’t know the reason behind the restriction. Hinchman says she wishes campus police had incorporated more student opinions and suggestions.
Upholding our school’s motto, Birkhead says about himself and fellow officers, “we are here to serve.” He extended an invitation to the student body saying he’s willing “to listen to any valid and logical argument to add or remove policies…my door is open, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.” For any student who wants more information regarding the restriction or to voice your opinion, Birkhead says he’s, “more than welcome to the opportunity.”