Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Dorm Safety Isn’t What You’d Expect

The FAU Housing Guidebook for 2008-09 is given to residents each year, and inside there’s a bold sentence: “Do not allow anyone without keys into any University Housing community. Direct them to a courtesy phone.”

Given that this notice is on page 25, it seems students don’t take this important message very seriously, because in less than two hours on Sept. 23, three UP reporters successfully got into every dorm on the Boca Raton campus – without keys, Owl Cards or even stopping or saying a word.

“Students do follow other students into the halls; however, if students keep their suite doors locked as we encourage them to, it does not pose as great a risk,” says Larry Faerman, assistant director of housing and residential life.

Students trying to get into the dorms are often residents who forget their Owl Cards, but what happens when people who are not even FAU students try to get into the dorms?

The UP tried it and we found that if residents are outside of the main lobby doors, students that can’t get in simply ask if someone could let them in either by knocking on the door or asking for a swipe of an Owl Card.

Here’s what the UP found out and how we rate the dorms:

Glades Park Towers (GPT)

GPT should be called “Easy Park Towers” because it’s a piece of cake to get in. First, there are lots of people hanging around outside who would rather let just anyone in than risk being rude. Then, there’s a security issue with the convenience store attached to the lobby, Outtakes, where students can enter from outside to an unlocked door, walk through the store and into the lobby. There are also lots of nice freshmen who will hold the door open for anyone. And sometimes the outside doors leading to the towers directly have little rocks or trash blocking the door jam so it’s always ajar.

Overall grade: F

Algonquin (Gonk)

Algonquin is the safest dorm, hands down. It was the hardest to get into because there are less students and no common rooms or lobby areas. We got in on the second floor of the guys’ side, but only by knocking on the door. As for the other hallways, there weren’t any students around to let us in. Surprisingly, there are some rooms that are not inside the locked hallways (located on the balcony). These students should always lock their doors to be safe. Overall grade: B

University Village Apartments (Student Apartments)

The best place to sneak into a dorm is at the student apartments. If you can’t get someone to open the door, then you can squeeze in through a maintenance entrance, climb the fence or hop into someone’s window. If you knock, you’re more likely to get someone to hear you than any other dorm. Also, once you’re in one front door, you are in – there are no towers to get into, just the rooms. Overall grade: F

Heritage Park Towers (HPT)

Our reporters got in through all six doors (main entrance and side doors) of HPT and into both towers in under five minutes, and we never stopped walking. This dorm often has the same problem as GPT with the rocks in the door jams (maybe because they are exactly the same floor plan). The only positive thing we saw when trying to get in was that the RAs sitting at the front desk watched everyone who came in, so at least they’re trying to be a little safe. Overall grade: D

Indian River Towers (IRT)

This is the easiest place to bypass the RAs. There were about 30 students – mostly sophomores, juniors and seniors – who were just hanging out around the side or back doors smoking with the door either propped open (although signs say not to), or just literally standing in the doorway. If you need to go in the main entrance, it still isn’t too hard to get in. Overall grade: D

Jupiter campus housing – Honors College dorms

Earlier this month, two UP reporters tried the same tactics for getting into the two different residence halls on the Jupiter campus. Nestled away behind the classrooms, the Jupiter campus dorms are much like those at the Boca campus – just with less students. Students were just as friendly and willing to hold doors open and swipe their Owl Cards for us, but the wait time was increased because there are less residents. Yet, it was much more difficult to get in after dark because less students were out and about. Overall grade: C

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