Access changes affect safety, convenience

Angela Moret

What some students felt was an unfair Residence Life policy is now being modified for next semester.

Upon the return of students for the spring semester, the Office for Residence Life will implement changes in dormitory access. Juniors will now have Wildcard access to any junior apartment and residence hall within visitation hours — 10 a.m. to midnight from Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Friday and Saturday.

Sophomores will be allowed card access to any sophomore residence hall during visitation hours. After visitation hours, sophomores and juniors are allowed to enter their respective class’s halls as long as a resident of that building accompanies them.

Freshmen will have card access to all freshman residence halls within visitation hours. Freshmen can enter dorms of the same sex after visiting hours if accompanied by a resident of that building.

University students living at Harcum College will have access to their specific class year’s buildings during visitation hours.

The changes will allow more flexibility for students to enter residence halls than was available this semester.

“It’s great … much more convenient” said John Imperiale, a junior resident of Farley Hall.

Access was restricted at the beginning of this semester due to vandalism in the common areas of many apartments and residence halls. Students could only gain entrance to their own buildings. However, there were inconsistencies with this system. The rule was not enforced consistently, because many cards were not programmed for the restrictions, which added to the confusion. Also, many students felt it was unfair not to be able to enter a residence of the same class during visitation hours.

“It was very frustrating, especially if you had to run an errand to another apartment or if you just wanted to drop by and say hello to a friend,” said Andrea Windt, a junior living in Welsh Hall.

“I think that it’s good that only junior apartment residents have access to the apartments because it prevents random freshmen who are looking for parties on the weekends from just roaming through the apartments,” she added.

A committee with members from the Dean of Students Office, Department of Public Safety, Residence Life, Telecommunications, Inter-Hall Council and Student Government Association contributed to the new policy. The committee aimed to find a balance between safety and privilege based on class rank.

“We feel very good about the process and hope students will be comfortable with it,” Dr. Christine Lysionek, director of Residence Life. “There were students on the committee, and they felt [the changes] were fair and balanced.”

She also explained that while some cards already allow the new access policy, this is a fluke in Wildcard programming and all Wildcards will be cleared and reprogrammed.

The Wildcard Office will also reprogram the card readers on dormitory doors at the start of next semester.