Following isolated security risks at two campus residence halls, San Diego State University is enacting new measures to better account for unauthorized guests.
As reported by The Daily Aztec, two non-residents gained access to two different dorms in early September, prompting the university to rethink its access control protocols. University police and residence hall staff were able to locate both unauthorized individuals and remove them from the buildings, with no reports of injury, damage to property or stolen possessions.
It's believed that the individuals were able to gain access by simply tailgating residents at perimeter doors, a practice that has long frustrated access control measures on campuses.
“After becoming aware and reviewing our camera footage, we found that some of our students, who were being courteous, opened the door for and allowed these individuals into the residence halls,” said Kara Bauer, Director of Residential Education Administration at SDSU, in an email to students. “Do not allow people into the residential community if you do not know them. If an unfamiliar person requests access, attempts to tailgate behind you or is seen in the community, please be sure to immediately notify a staff member or university police.”
To help prevent the problem going forward, residence hall administration has created a new system to ensure all those who enter campus residence halls will have their SDSUcard checked.
Residence halls will now be outfitted with a separate security desk designed solely to verify student IDs, as opposed to previous protocols that saw front desk attendants check IDs in addition to other responsibilities. Front desk attendants are tasked with checking guest students in and out, assisting with borrowed items, sorting packages and answering phone calls.
SDSU uses colored stickers adhered to campus cards to delineate which residence hall each student belongs to. This system is also used to distinguish if a student is a resident when they visit a security desk.
Security monitors are now being established at SDSU residence halls as part of the new, permanent system. The security checkpoints consist of temporary tables for now, but will eventually be replaced by podiums.