Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Guards Ignore Dorm-Entry Policy

Although pundits around the nation have called for increased campus security since 33 people were shot to death at Virginia Tech last week, student guards at Georgetown, known for relaxed patrols in the lobbies of campus dormitories, have made little effort to boost enforcement since the incident.

The Department of Public Safety has asked student guards to be more vigilant after the shooting, but many continue to neglect the university’s policy that requires all people entering certain buildings to swipe their GOCards or be signed in by a resident. “All of our guards have been advised to be on vigil,” Doris Bey, DPS associate director, said.

Student guards, however, have said that they overlook the rule for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, while LXR Hall is watched by hired professional security guards from Securitas Services rather than student guards, many people have been seen entering the building without swiping.

Andrea Aguiar (MSB ’08), who works as a guard in Village C West, said that she only follows proper procedures in certain circumstances. “I don’t make everyone swipe. If they’re men or if they’re older, I’ll ask them to swipe,” she said.

Aguiar also said that empty guard desks are not an uncommon sight. “A lot of guards leave early or leave and come back,” she said.

Bey said that guards sometimes allow people to enter without swiping because they know they are residents. “They do get to know people. That’s no excuse,” she said. “They should follow protocol and have everyone swipe, especially after 10 p.m.”

She said she did not understand why student guards would be allowing entry without swiping.

Lucyna Czajka (SFS ’08), who works as a student guard in Copley Hall, said that if people walk in without swiping, she usually asks them to show their GOCards but not to return and swipe.

“People tend to get angry when I ask them to show their cards,” she said.

Madeleine Maguire (SFS ’09), a student guard in Village C West, offered a different reason for why she sometimes allows residents to walk by without swiping.

“Usually it’s because I’ve seen them walk out the door five minutes ago,” she said.

Julia Alcarez (MSB ’10) said she understands why student guards frequently do not follow proper procedure, adding that she does not think that increased enforcement would likely prevent an incident like the one that happened at Virginia Tech.

“It’s really convenient when they look the other way,” she said.

“I don’t think the issue lies with the student guards,” Alcarez added. “If someone wants to get into the dorm, they’re going to figure out a way in.”

Aguiar said that, considering the effectiveness of the student guard program, new security measures may be necessary to improve safety in residence halls. “I think they should figure out a way to make you swipe every time, like in New South,” she said.

New South has a gate which buzzes loudly if anyone passes through without swiping. On numerous occasions over the weekend, however, student guards overrode the sensor and allowed students to enter.

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