Sunday, June 25th, 2017

An open campus should have more locked doors

Posted on April 22, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By: Dionne Smith, Staff Writer

While Portland is great, it’s not as if bad things never happen here. The Portland campus has a large flow of students daily, either coming from Gorham or commuters, and each student should be ensured safety. Without any locks on any of the doors, that doesn’t happen.

In my home city, New York City, I once visited NYU on a college trip. NYU is known for being a part of the city and not a gated-off university. When I visited, I noticed that to get into buildings, you’d have to use a key card.

The Portland campus, like NYU, is integrated into Portland, and the campus is open to the general public. But, unlike NYU, we do not have a sense of security. All the buildings are open and don’t require a key, and only some buildings require a key after a certain time.

As sad as it is to say, we live in a country where school shootings are becoming a more common occurrence, and bills for concealed carry on college campuses have been passed.  It doesn’t hurt to have extra protection. Having a keycard and locks on the doors would be a benefit to the campus in terms of security. This way unwanted people can be kept out, and students can feel safe inside any building they’re in. This could work for every campus, not just Portland.

Every single USM student could be given two key cards, one for daily use and one extra just in case the first one is lost. Once a student reports a key card as lost or missing, that card can be deactivated. With something as simple as that, a lot of students would likely feel safer on campus.

Along with key cards for all campuses, there should be an increase in alarm posts on campus. If something were to happen outside of a building but on campus, there should be an alarm post somewhere nearby that will allow the student to notify the police. I think that there are only two on the Portland campus, and I only remember where one is. The same goes for the Gorham campus.

Key cards and alarm posts are great, but they won’t be effective if you can’t see them. Gorham and Portland both need better lighting. I find it hard to see more than fifteen feet in front of me some nights in Gorham. The simple addition of more light would add a sense of safety to both campuses and could be crucial when it gets dark very early in the winter.

With those three upgradeslocks and key cards, more alarm post and better lightingthe campuses would be safer. This way, students who stay on campus late in Portland are safer, as well as students who walk around on the Gorham campus at night.