Dorm Safety Still an Issue?

Despite security cameras, locked doors with keycard-only access and on-duty student security, FAU’s dorms still aren’t completely safe, the University Press found.

Three months ago, the UP tried to sneak into all on-campus housing to prove a point: Human nature trumps all when it comes to safety. And in December, we did it again.

The UP found that regardless of FAU’s safety precautions, students hold and prop doors open and residents will swipe their cards upon request.

After we snuck in the first time, FAU Housing wrote a letter to all on-campus residents assuring their safety. The letter also offered safety tips like: “Always keep your room and apartment locked,” “Carry your room key and Owl Card with you at all times,” and “Get to know the people in your building and the entire community.”

Boca campus Housing also began implementing random ID checks for all students entering the four on-campus residence halls and the student apartments. After the UP’s article, resident assistants (RAs) were randomly stationed outside all entrances watching to ensure all students swiped their Owl Cards, which also serve as their housing keycards, before entering the building. According to residents, these checks only lasted two weeks.

In December, the UP tested all the residence halls and the student apartments again, and was able to get in every door in every building on the Boca campus in under two hours.

Larry Faerman, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life, told the UP in October that Housing is aware of the problem.
“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,” said Faerman.

In December, FAU Director of Housing Jill Eckardt told the UP that they plan to make some changes for spring.
“Starting in the spring semester, residents will have to use the front lobby doors to enter the dorms; no more side entrances will allow students to enter into hallways from the outside.”

Along with this change, Eckardt says Housing still enforces a 24/7 locked-door policy in every dorm. RAs will continue random ID checks throughout the semester, and e-mails will be sent to students reinforcing safety procedures.

Assistant Editor Samantha Andrews contributed to the reporting in this article.

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