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News
Editorial: Residents must be responsible for dorm security


By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Two weeks into school and already it's come to this guests need two forms of ID to enter Coronado and must sign their names in a logbook that will keep track of traffic into the hall.

Why? According to Residence Life Director Jim Van Arsdel, it's because too many outsiders were walking unescorted around Coronado.

The tighter security measures, Van Arsdel said, are unrelated to now-discredited reports of a sexual assault in that hall earlier this semester. But those reports can't make anybody more comfortable, and if there's one thing that will without question lead to tougher security, it's an assault allegation.

Upperclassmen probably remember the last time residence hall security was seriously heightened. It was about a year and a half ago, after a rash of sexual assaults plagued the halls and a man was arrested for staring at women in the shower.

After those incidents, the UA heightened security and warned people not to hold doors open for strangers following them into the halls. Some people listened. Others didn't. A Wildcat reporter watched residents hold doors open for people following them into the dorms, and even saw a younger man racing to sneak in before a door closed all the way.

People weren't vigilant enough back then, and it appears things haven't changed since. Living in a dorm, or any community setting, comes with certain responsibilities. One person's actions, whether it's holding a door open for a stranger or something else entirely, can impact the lives of hundreds of others.

It's a shame that Residence Life has to take such extreme measures. Nobody wants a babysitter, especially freshmen living away from home for the first time and wanting to enjoy the freedom of college.

But if residents aren't doing it themselves, somebody has to watch out for their safety. Rather than welcoming the new security measures that are being imposed from above, as many seem to be doing, residents ought to be angry with themselves that the UA has had to step in.

The UA is not and cannot be big brother. At least in part, the new security measures are a reaction to residents acting carelessly, and they should serve as a wake-up call to students to be more vigilant.

Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Dunham, Brett Fera, Caitlin Hall, Daniel Scarpinato and Jeff Sklar.

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