[Editorial] An Increase in Campus Security Restrictions
by The Milton Measure on Monday, September 30th, 2013
In light of recent tragedies at schools, we understand that the task of keeping Milton, not only an academic institution but also a place that 50% of the student body calls home, secure is a paramount responsibility. Additionally, many of the facilities at Milton are liabilities. Without the proper knowledge or care of these facilities, students can injure themselves or break equipment. Balancing the importance of safety, especially on such an open campus, with the desire to give students the freedom to access school buildings, poses a challenge to the administration.
At Milton, we have bountiful resources at our fingertips. The campus equips students with a variety of venues to pursue extracurricular activities, including a gym, an arts center, computer labs, a dance studio, multiple music rooms, and a library. However, often times on weekends and late at night, these facilities are locked, only accessible to students in limited time frames, and usually only after making a phone call to campus safety.
Students often complain that the student center should remain unlocked past 7:30, as they often find themselves calling campus safety to come unlock the building to retrieve a forgotten backpack or jacket; however, we find this restriction reasonable. The student center provides little potential for productivity at such late hours, and students should bear the responsibility for items they have left behind. That being said, some of the precautions taken to keep students out of buildings seem superfluous. With the exception of some rooms in the jazz wing, practice rooms in Kellner are locked on a regular basis. In order for a student to practice, he or she must call a campus safety officer to open the room, a task that takes 5-10 minutes out of that student’s practice time and disrupts the campus safety officer’s day.
Beyond Milton, the need for more stringent security measures has become increasingly clear over the past decade, as seen by the shift in the American mentality towards transportation, workplace and school security. In some ways this shift has been caused by events like Columbine, 9/11, and Newtown, but often times the emotions that follow these occurrences falsely justify the need for sharp measures. Nevertheless, the need to keep much of campus closed for safety purposes when in fact they could be in use has been overestimated. Students should have access to buildings like Kellner and the ACC beyond the current hours system. As members of the Milton community who work for student publications or captain the ski team have keys to offices and sheds, shouldn’t students who have rigorous musical practice schedules, art requirements, or athletic commitments be granted with a special exception to the rule?
Entrusting a student with expanded access to buildings on campus would undoubtedly require more cooperation on part of the student. At the end of the day, we would have to take responsibility for any additional freedoms we would be afforded, especially considering reckless actions of past Milton students. While recent events have demonstrated a need for additional security measures, we can’t forget that the primary purpose of these buildings is student use, something that should increase with an increase in student liability for their actions, both in and out of these facilities.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=5091