Semester two brings dorm changes

Whether you have been abroad for fall semester or Interim or both, or have been on campus all year, there have been some recent changes on the Hill that have generated some discussion.

Perhaps the biggest change is the newly-implemented 24-hour card access to the residence halls on campus. This means that halls will be locked at all times, but residents still can get into any dorm until 11 p.m., and after that only their own dorms.

Administrators implemented the new policy with the hopes to increase campus security. Northfield is not a crime-free community, even though students can be lured into a false sense of security due to the trusting campus atmosphere. Just as students should be locking their dorm room doors, the administration wanted to lock the dorms to protect the property.

Roz Eaton-Neeb ’87, the Dean of Students and the author of the email informing students of the change, believes that this will help prevent unwanted individuals from accessing the dorms.

“Much of the crime in Northfield and most crimes on campus are crimes of opportunity. Limiting access to residences has been carefully considered and implementing 24-hour card access at the start of a new term seems most sensible,” Eaton-Neeb said.

The change comes with other problems, however. If students lose their ID or have it stolen, they will face the challenge of not having access to their meal plan or to any residential halls on campus. Even leaving an ID behind in a room could cause potential problems getting back in the building.

On the other hand, students still have the same access they have had in the past, and carrying their ID cards is relatively essential at all times on campus as it is.

According to Shane Springer, Area Coordinator for Ellingson and Larson Halls, the transition was relatively seamless.

“As a resident of Ellingson myself, I know I had to remind myself to scan my card at 3 p.m. on that first Tuesday, but by Thursday it was habit,” Springer said.

What effect will locking the doors have on the future of security on the Hill? Only time will tell if this new plan is more of a help or hindrance.

dipietro@stolaf.edu

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