Being such a small campus, we have always thrived on the idea of community, but a recent development is threatening to shut that ideal down.
I’m not entirely sure why, but apparently it seems like a good idea to keep people locked out of every dorm but their own. Granted, I can see how the idea might make sense, and I have yet to actually investigate the reasoning behind the new swipe-card restrictions. But I have mulled over it quite often and cannot think of any suitable reason for it.
For one, it does not add any significant security. Sure, people can’t simply swipe into buildings, but they are still just as capable to wait outside until somebody opens the door or have one of their friends let them in. In fact, I’ve recently heard of a water fountain being damaged in one of the residence halls due to non-residents, so I’m not certain the aforementioned “security measure” is working.
As a student living in North, it is frustrating to be on campus and unable to swipe into buildings. During the day, there is not as much of an issue since people are continually going in and out of buildings. But once the sun goes down, it’s a different story entirely. What happens when a storm blows in and someone from North or another dorm is forced to stick it out in the rain or sit for who knows how long in an academic building?
We’re simply speaking of inconvenience here, not even the danger of say, a tornado, were one to strike as it did a year or so ago. And what about walking the campus at night? There have been a scattering of muggings in the area around Queens the past year and it would be unfortunate if someone were attacked and unable to make it into a residence hall where they could call out for help. Perhaps these scenarios seem a little far-fetched, but as a student of Queens, I would much rather have my dorm available to the entire student body than to be shut out in a time of need.
All in all, I can’t really see how only allowing swipes to work on a specific residence hall is positive. In certain ways, it actually detracts from the safety of our campus and chips away at what I’ve always loved about Queens: the strong sense of community. Going to such a small school allows people to become a lot closer with others with many different interests and backgrounds, and I think it’s only right to continue that tradition of unity by allowing all students to swipe into any residence hall.
Junior Teaching Fellow