Sometimes, it is necessary to sacrifice convenience for the sake of safety. This is the case in new measures that have been put into place, dictating that only marked entrances to buildings on campus will be unlocked.
Students can still use ID cards to enter compatible doors.
While the change may be irritating, Christopher Jagoe, director of public safety, says that it is a necessary one. According to Jagoe, campus security consultants of the firm Margolis-Healy pointed out various safety issues.
“One of them was access control and the use of officers to open and close buildings and rooms throughout the day. This was an inefficient use of staffing which removed them from patrolling campus for hours of the day and evening,” Jagoe explained.
Jagoe described the measure as less of a change in policy and more an advancement in the way public safety oversees doors that are opened and closed on campus.
“The ability to secure buildings in the case of an emergency, such as an active shooter, was not possible given the number of doors to secure. Additionally, our officers would be responding to the source of the emergency and not locking down doors.”
These realizations led to a solution which involved changing the number of entry points for a few buildings, and making a “practical” number of doors able to be accessed via ID cards.
“Simply put, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to securing the campus,” Jagoe said. “The university needs to balance any changes to building access and security with the benefits of being an open and welcoming place to study, teach, research and collaborate. Going to an entire swipe access system to enter campus buildings would not meet that goal.”
Jagoe also addressed an added convenience that comes with the change.
“Entrance doors are now clearly marked for access. Prior to that, anyone entering buildings needed to tug on doors to see if they opened.”
Jagoe also reiterated that the measures are for the safety of students, which is taken very seriously at Wilkes.
“The university made a significant security investment to modify the number of electronic access points, repair or replace doors, and create signage to identify appropriate entrance points,” Jagoe explained. “I think most will agree that making the campus safer trumps convenience.”