When I visit other college campuses, I am reminded that gates are more than a mere architectural feature.
They serve as an additional measure to keep out people whom do not attend or otherwise have reason to be on campus.
I need to be reminded of this since Union does not restrict access to its campus.
In fact, since the gates at Union are not used, I am uncertain if they actually function.
What I am certain of is that I would feel safer if I knew that when walking alone on campus at night, the people I encounter were members of the Union community.
Last year’s stabbing of a Union student by a non-student could easily have happened on campus.
In fact, in his attempt to escape after the assault, the perpetrator ran onto campus with his knife, where he was caught and detained until the Schenectady police arrived.
While attacks of this type are not the norm, they do happen. In this case, violence occured very close to campus.
This party was clearly close enough that the teen was arrested on Union grounds.
Parties attract party crashers, and there is no shortage of parties on our campus.
It isn’t a stretch to think that, without restricted access, a similar group could end up on our campus seeking out a party.
Most of the campuses that use their gates have unrestricted access, or an open gate, during the day. However, they then restrict access by closing gates at night.
Once the gates are closed for the evening, students and authorized individuals gain entry through their campus gates by using their key card.
It’s really no different from the process we have to enter a dorm or Minerva.
And yes, I understand that someone who doesn’t belong on campus could enter during the day and choose not to leave.
But by having and using gates, Union could create a deterrent that would make it less likely that people whom have no legitimate reason to be on campus would be there when it is dark and somewhat deserted.
Yes, what I am proposing will likely require some money and alterations to the current gates. Further, our campus is not completely enclosed.
I believe it’s a good use of funds. Apparently many other colleges agree; in doing this, Union will be one of the crowd. In this instance, going with the crowd is the right choice.