With all the recent tragedies happening in schools around the nation, Illinois State University decided to take action in an attempt to prevent a situation of similar nature from happening on its campus. ISU implemented 24-hour identification scanners on the entrances and exits of the dormitory buildings. In principle, this enhanced security measure would prevent any non-ISU alumni (or any non-inhabitant of a certain dorm building) from entering.
Although this enhanced security shows that they really care about the well-being of its student population, this editorial board believes that in reality, it is a bit of a nuisance.
As stated above, the goal of the increased security is to prevent anybody that does not currently live in the dorms from entering. Situations like the bomb threat in the beginning of the academic year and the threatening note found yesterday morning in Schroeder Hall have put our safety in jeopardy, and the school feels the need to take action.
Identification scanners on the front doors of the dorms are not going to prevent unwanted persons from entering them.
When observing students walking in and out of Watterson Towers, because of this new security measure, more and more students are holding the door open for each other in order to avoid the inconvenience the ID scanners cause. If someone with the intention of harming those who occupy Watterson wanted to gain access to the building, all he/she would have to do is wait for a student to open the door and grab the door before it closes. If students did not hold the doors open for each other, there would be lines of students forming outside the front doors waiting to scan in.
Obviously, certain security measures should be taken in order to prevent disasters from happening at school, but the identification scanners are unnecessary and frankly, ineffective. This editorial board believes that instead of the identification scanners, heightened on-campus security (in the form of people in uniform), more security cameras and faster reaction times from the police when the emergency buttons are pressed by students in the quad would be an effective way to ensure student safety.
Although effective security is necessary in an environment such as a campus in order for students to feel safe, let us not forget the fact that school shootings are rare. While they have been becoming more frequent in recent years, the number of school shooting deaths is relatively low. According to Slate, since 1980, 297 people have been killed in school shootings.
If Illinois State University did not take precautionary measures in ensuring student safety, and something did happen, they would probably feel responsible for whatever happened. These security measures might also make parents feel more comfortable sending their child to a public university such as ISU.
But, in regards to the ID scanners, this editorial board feels this particular security enhancement is bothersome and ineffective.