Student’s safety: Unlocked doors on south campus

DANIELLE NYKANEN
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

Student’s safety is a top priority for many college campuses and Alma is no different. Recently, however, a safety concern arose as students reported doors on south campus being left unlocked.

All student housing requires either a pin or key card to gain access, making it easy to restrict access to students and their guests. Certain doors on south campus were not requiring students to scan their ID, meaning anyone could walk in.

“I’ve seen the side door to Carey be unlocked. I haven’t heard about any other doors, but I could be wrong,” said Ruby Lovasz (‘23). Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing issue since the second week of classes.

“The first few weeks of school, it was only on the weekends, but last week, there were a few weekdays it happened as well. It’s been a week since I’ve seen anything unlocked so I’m guessing the issue is fixed,” said Lovasz.

“I’ve seen the doors unlocked, and most of the time it was during the day. It has happened at random all through September. They will be locked on some days and unlocked on others” said Julia Gotaas (‘24).

With the doors cycling between locked and unlocked it made it hard for students to know when the door was actually fixed. A few days could go by with no issues and then the door would be unlocked again.

“We did have an issue with the two main entrances of Carey not locking as there was some issue with the card swipe access readers, but I believe we resolved the issue in working with Campus Safety and Facilities” said JD Copus, Assistant Director for Residence Life at Alma College.

This issue was very unsettling for many students living on south campus. Luckily, the issue should be resolved, and doors should be locked from here on out.   

“I don’t have any exact dates, but I noticed the doors unlocked on 9/11/2022 and then followed up with Facilities and Campus Safety that week” said Copus.

“There had been issues with the doors over the [first] several weeks and trying to ensure that the doors stayed locked. I went over to Carey Hall today and all doors were locked correctly as of 9/28/2022.” said Copus.

The main concern many students had with the doors being unlocked was their safety. Without limited access anyone could walk into the building.

“Living in a building with unlocked doors makes me feel quite unsafe. Particularly considering that since our dorms are located on the southern part of campus and are nearer to the community homes,” said Gotaas.

“I definitely feel safer on the days that I see the doors are locked; however, I haven’t felt particularly unsafe. Although there was an issue with the doors not locking, there are always cameras facing the doors, I feel that the area is pretty well lit, and campus safety makes multiple rounds every night,” said Lovasz.

This is a great reminder that we do have various precautions on campus to ensure students safety. While locked doors are a major concern other monitoring systems are in place to keep us secure.

“Students should contact Campus Safety at 989-463-7777 if they have issues with doors being unlocked or issues getting into buildings” said Copus but, “if students still have concerns or notice that doors aren’t locking properly, they can contact me directly as well.”

“If students ever don’t feel safe on campus, Campus Safety is there to provide that assistance. Campus Safety does a lot of great work like escorts around campus, jump start vehicles, allowing students into buildings, etc.” said Copus.

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