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Miami U. student government considers Ring doorbells at residence halls

The Associated Student Government at Miami University has voted in favor of a resolution that supports implementing Ring doorbells on campus. The resolution enables the installation of the electronic doorbells on select residence hall doors.

According to a report from The Miami Student, the initiative is intended to help create a safer environment on campus by giving students a safe place to access if they feel unsafe and cannot quickly get back to their personal residence.

“I picked what I believe to be the most strategic dorms,” said Ryan Parker, On-Campus Senator at Miami University, and one of the authors of the resolution. “We focused more on North Quad since a lot of assaults happen on North Quad.”

If students feel unsafe, they would be able to use the Ring doorbell installed on a residence hall exterior door and be let into the lobby by the Resident Assistant on duty. The RA would work with the student to diffuse the situation and help accordingly, including contacting the Miami University Police Department.

The proposal for adding Ring doorbells, though rooted in campus and student safety, does not consider any visitor management or security protocols already in place at the campus.

On-Campus Senator Zachary Roemer said if the resolution is passed, the work of installing and maintaining the doorbells will be delegated to the university information technology department.

Another concern with the Ring doorbell proposal has been student privacy, as the doorbells have cameras. Those close to the proposal say that cameras are needed to help identify the validity and severity of the situation, and discern the real threats. There is also the belief that the presence of the Ring cameras might deter some perpetrators.

Despite strong support from some student constituents, questions remain within the student government structure as to exactly how the initiative would work in practice.

“I think that the authors would be served better to bring this back when they’ve done a little bit more work with the key administrators who need to collaborate on this initiative in order for it to take place,” said Ben Waugh, Secretary of Finance for the Miami student government. “I understand that we want to show student support to those administrators, but I think in order to really gain student support we have to have a clear picture of what the initiative fully comprises.”

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