A little common sense would do security a lot of good

By on March 8, 2006

I’m not one of those people who tend to whine and moan about every mundane nuisance of Quinnipiac University. Yes, I have used this space in past years to complain about the on-campus housing situation and the absurdity of the core curriculum policy. However, while I did plainly express my feelings on those issues, I also realized that there were good arguments on the opposite side. I simply didn’t agree with them.

This brings me to my latest problem with Quinnipiac, which is security’s new policy restricting some students from access to Dorm Road. In this case, I cannot see the other side’s point. If you were to ask Chief of Security John Twining about this issue, he would likely respond that the policy is not new; it is simply being better enforced now. Regardless, we have a problem.

This all started with the Feb. 5 assault of sophomore Dave Lyon in Perlroth by an unregistered guest. As was reported in The Chronicle’s Feb. 15 issue, Lyon estimated that he was punched about three dozen times by 20-year-old Raymond Dreyer. His injuries were serious enough that he needed to be taken by ambulance to Yale-New Haven hospital that night for treatment.

The ease with which Dreyer made his way on campus and into Perlroth opened eyes at security that all the guards might not be doing their jobs. All guests are supposed to be registered by whomever they are visiting and receive a guest pass upon arriving. Whether one arrives at North Lot or the New Road entrance, guards are supposed to check to make sure guests have their passes and students have their Q-Cards.

The entire reason this policy exists is to prevent an incident like Lyon’s assault from happening. Obviously, that is why we have security, to keep students safe. It is not unreasonable for them to make sure that people who drive onto campus are people who belong here, whether they be students or guests.

There is no doubt that the guards can often be quite lax. In fact, in my experience, it is rarely the case that I have to show ID before entering campus. I have a Hilltop parking spot, and I can count on one hand the number of times the guard at the New Road entrance has asked to see my Q-Card before allowing me through. Most of them see the sticker on my rear-view mirror and don’t even bother coming out of the shack, even if I have other people in the car with me.

However, since the assault, security has tightened the reins considerably, but in ways that make absolutely no sense. Most notably, commuter students are no longer allowed to drive down Dorm Road. As was highlighted by Adam Murphy in this section a couple weeks ago, an off-campus student can’t even come on campus to pick up or drop off a friend, a process that takes no more than 10 minutes.

This new policy was confirmed to me by a friend in one of my classes last Friday. She was unable to come on campus to drop off a friend at a dorm, which forced the friend to walk all the way from the security gate to her dorm, late at night. Both of them had Q-Cards, but that apparently was not good enough for security this time.

Additionally, students who live on campus but park in one of the off-campus parking lots have also faced trouble when trying to drive on campus. Two weeks ago, my roommate got his car from the Whitney lot and tried to drive it to pick me up in the Hill/Village circle, only to be rebuffed by the guard on duty. How foolish is that? If the only people who can drive past the New Road gate now are Hilltop students, it’s a joke.

In both of these cases, we’re talking about Quinnipiac students, with Q-Cards, who pay the same tuition as everyone else. They should have the same access as everyone else. Lyon’s assault should have provoked security to tighten their control over non-students, but Quinnipiac students should not be given more trouble.

I know full well that security thinks they get unfairly portrayed in this newspaper, but in all honesty, they do it to themselves. The long line of editorials this semester criticizing them is not happening randomly or by accident. In each case, the authors have had legitimate gripes with the way security goes about their business. They can be arrogant, unresponsive to concerns, and generally standoffish to the student population. Basically, it’s their way or the highway. Common sense and logic often seem to be foreign concepts. This is not the case with every guard, but calling it a general trend is not unfair.

Cutting off any legitimate Quinnipiac student’s access to this university in response to an attack on a student by an unregistered guest is completely inexplicable. Perhaps that is why security made the move.


About A. J. Atchue