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Keycard Access Can Prevent Problems And Piggybacking

Letters to the Editors

By Emily E. Riehl

To the editors:

I applaud Pforzheimer House Masters James and Suzanne McCarthy for being the first to grant daytime keycard access to non-House members (News, “24-Hour Key Access Pushed,” March 16). I wish, however, that their current policies would continue to reflect this spirit. This year, Pfoho has closed most of its doors to non-residents, only allowing students to swipe in at the entrances nearest the shuttle stop. This policy, though inconvenient, does allow non-residents to visit friends and attend study groups in Pfoho’s main building.

However, at present it is impossible for non-residents to gain access to the overflow housing in Jordan North and South without having a friend come down to open the door or “piggybacking”on other Pfoho residents. This policy leads to many undesirable consequences such as the practice of propping open Jordan doors for parties, giving non-students access to the building as well and compromising the safety of all residents. I have even resorted to throwing rocks at the second floor windows to announce my arrival when I was stuck outside without a cell phone, an action taken out of desperation and not out of a desire to damage property. While I understand the concerns of theft raised by universal keycard access, I believe that policies designed to give students a consistent need to piggyback create a climate in which residents are more likely to swipe in strangers and do more to exacerbate this problem then to solve it.


March 16, 2004

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