Housing and Residence life implements new security measures for overnight guests


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

The Flats is a private apartment complex located on Innovation Campus.

Starting today, Housing and Residence life will be implementing new security measures in Shocker Hall, Suites and Flats that includes only one entrance being used from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m., which will be a staffed entry point where guests will be required to sign in with a photo ID.

During these hours, Shocker Hall will have two points of entry and exit at A1 and B0.  Suites and Flats will also have one entry and exit at the front doors to the building.  Residents will also be required to sign in with their Shocker Card at the staffed security checkpoint.

“We consistently look at ways to make our building more safe and secure … It’s just an extra set of eyes when most people are sleeping, so it’s just an extra layer of protection for the safety of our students,” Scott Jensen, associate dean of students, said.

Katie Austin, associate director of residence life & educational engagement, said that students have always been responsible for their guests behavior and by policy, they are supposed to stay with you at all times in the building.  She said the main changes will be having only one door open and having to check guests in.

Jensen said that this idea came from having conversations and brainstorming questions with President Muma and others about ways to increase security.  He said they are also looking into a new door lock system and exterior door alarms.

From conversations with residents, Austin said that one student who transferred from a smaller school was used to already having this system in place.  She has also heard that some students are worried about the inconvenience of having to walk to the one door that is open and having to check guests in.

“We’d love to get feedback, both positive and constructive, so that we can then continue to make students both safer but also happier,” Jensen said.  “The bottom line is, safety is not always convenient.”

If students are interested in sending feedback, they can contact [email protected]

Austin said that policies that are already in place require campus visitors to have an ID with them.  They will have technology in place that will accept several different forms of ID from a guest.  If a student forgets their Shocker card to unlock the outside doors, they can call the RA on-duty, a system that they have already been using.

“I think we’re interested in getting feedback from students, either way, so we are very open to, you know, if folks hate it, let us know, if they love it, let us know, so we can take the data that we get and make some decisions for long-term,” Austin said.

Jensen said that one benefit to this new system is that it will add a layer of protection for guests if there was a huge emergency, like a fire, and they can know who exactly was in the building.  It will also provide more information on late-night activities, since RA’s are sleeping during these times.

“I think students themselves are also invested in being safe,” Jensen said.

If any issues arise where students are not complying with the rules, Jensen said the first step will be an educational discussion to make sure the rules are understood, especially since this is starting mid-year.  If they see students repeatedly putting others safety at risk, it will go through the conduct system.

Jensen said they will be using the company Securitas for staffing at night to check guests in, a company the university is already contracted with for security at the Metroplex.  After looking at data, they will make long-term decisions.