[Update 2/5/15]: In an email to The Thrill, Jill Engel-Hellman, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, said “the decision was made in consultation with Campus Safety and Maintenance to bring these spaces into line with all of the other apartments with exterior doors across campus.” Additionally, ResLife looked into purchasing sliding doors that auto-lock (similar to all other apartment doors) but found that they do not exist. Thus, the decision was made to permanently lock the doors.
In an email to residents of the Acland Apartments, the Office of Housing and Residential Life informed the residents that the sliding doors that lead out to the patios of the apartments would be permanently locked in the coming weeks. A portion of the email reads:
This is being done as a safety measure in an ongoing effort to secure Kenyon’s buildings. Several years ago, Kenyon made the decision to better secure our buildings, including residential, administrative, and academic buildings. Card readers were added to the exterior of buildings and auto-locking locks were placed on apartment exterior doors. Along with interior locks on offices and bedrooms, this added a double barrier of safety and security. These patio doors are not auto-locking and can pose a risk to student safety as well as property belonging to those residents and to Kenyon.
After the email was sent The Thrill reached out to Acland residents via a Google Form to gauge their reaction. Read some of those opinions after the break.
The reaction was mixed, with most people citing the fact that residents should take responsibility for locking it if they felt the need to continually have the apartment locked. Lillian Spetrino ’15 said:
While it is understood and appreciated that the top priority of the administration of Kenyon is to keep students safe, it is important that students be able to maintain a level of personal responsibility for their possessions. Acland apartments are predominantly inhabited by members of the senior class, and those students will presumably be living on their own in the next few years. As such, it is imperative that students learn to be accountable for keeping their belongings secure.
This was a sentiment echoed by most of the other residents who shared their thoughts with us, with Meaghan McLaughlin ’15 adding, “If a student (or apartment) personally feels that the sliding patio-door is a risk, then they can choose to keep it permanently locked.”
Others seemed less bothered by the change, with one anonymous resident saying, “Much like how many other apartments simply put ducktape over the locks at their apartment, we’ll just end up doing the same thus making this change essentially useless.” Whether or not the change proves to be an inconvenience for residents or not remains to be seen, however some people, including the resident who first informed us of the change, take issue with how ResLife went about the situation. According to Spetrino, “no Acland residents were informed of any security threats caused by the ability to open the patio doors, nor were any residents consulted on their opinions on their degree of safety in Aclands.”
At the time of posting, The Thrill received six responses to our survey. The survey was sent out to Acland residents via email, and students had the option of giving their name or remaining anonymous. The Thrill will be talking to Housing and Res Life representatives tomorrow, and will keep you posted if anything about the situation changes.
Have thoughts on the sliding doors? Let us know in the comments!