Security Changes Enacted With Challenges


This year, Boston College has increased security measures by adding new locks and proximity card readers within residence halls around campus. During move-in, however, the new system posed problems for several groups of students, primarily freshmen, who faced difficulty accessing their bedrooms and bathrooms.

With the new system, students must tap their ID card to gain access to residence halls, their individual bedrooms, and the hall bathrooms. They must enter their individual PIN as well to enter their individual bedrooms and the hall bathrooms, in some, though not all, campus residences.

The system was tested in Cheverus Hall in January 2016, and implemented in all residence halls on Newton, Upper and College Road this fall. The new proximity card readers and PIN door locks were also added to each apartment door in the Reservoir Apartments and Thomas More Apartments.

When freshmen arrived for move-in, however, they were initially unable to enter their individual bedrooms using their ID card and PIN code, according to Duke Saunders, MCAS ’20. After having issues gaining access, Stanley Security, the security company working in partnership with BC, issued temporary ID cards to help students enter their rooms.

“The security changes should provide each student with a stronger sense of security.” 

—Thomas Atkinson, Deputy Chief of Boston College Police Department

Via email, Resident Director Matthew Razek directed members of the first and second floor of CLXF to contact facilities staff or resident assistants if they had been locked out. In addition, bathroom doors had to be propped to allow student access, the email said.

Throughout BC Welcome Week, the IT staff worked to change some lock mechanisms on individual bedroom doors in the freshmen residence halls. Cards were reset and all of the issues were worked out by Aug. 26, according to an email sent by the Office of Residential Life to students in affected residence halls.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience with our team as we continue to improve and enhance the safety and security of everyone in our BC Community,” Deputy Chief of Boston College Police Department Thomas Atkinson said in an email.

The implementation process was a joint effort conducted by the BCPD, Residential Life, BC Information Technology Services (ITS), BC Facilities, BC Student Services, and Stanley Security Solutions.

The additional security measures are a part of a larger three- to five-year project, which will include providing similar upgrades to the remainder of residence halls, academic, and administrative buildings on campus.

With the new security system comes new responsibility for students. Students were told to have their ID cards with them at all times, even to access the bathroom. Eventually, if a student gets locked out of his or her room once, he or she will receive a warning. After the second time, he or she will have a meeting with the Resident Director of the building, and after the third time, the student will be fined $50.

All other residence halls now have the proximity card reader to enter the buildings. To enter individual rooms, however, students still only need their group PIN code, and do not have to tap their ID card.

Security changes were also made in Walsh Hall, where there will no longer be an active security guard on duty. According to Atkinson, BC aimed for consistency within dorm security, and with the new proximity readers to enter the dorm, did not feel it was necessary to have an active security guard.

“The security changes should provide each student with a stronger sense of security,” Atkinson said.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

About Taylor St. Germain 83 Articles
Taylor was the managing editor for The Heights, as well as a news alum. She is from Los Angeles, CA, but defies stereotypes by not surfing, rooting for the Rams, or tanning easily. You can follow her on Twitter @taysaintg.