Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I took great interest in your editorial about dorm security. I agree that Carnegie Mellon students need to be more responsible for their safety. However, I was a little taken aback by your comments on desk attendant enforcement.
I am a desk attendant for Housing, and have been since last summer. I work the West Wing shift every weekday afternoon, and I see dozens of residents come in and out; by now I?ve even come to recognize them all as fellow students. Here?s what happens when I ask students to show me their ID cards: They explain that they left it upstairs, they groan and dig through their bag until the elevator arrives (thus allowing them to escape), or they tell me to go to hell. To me, that doesn?t sound like a concern for security. And no, I can?t really run after anyone. I?m not allowed to leave the desk unattended, and even if I could pursue an intruder, what am I going to do? I?m not trained in physical combat.
I know a lot of us desk attendants try to enforce the rules, but not everyone wants to follow them ? especially since a housing key or ID card can open the doors anyway. And I admit, it?s a pain to have to flash an ID card every time. But if anyone has any suggestions for better security, I?m sure the graduate coordinator of desk services would appreciate them.

Thank you,

Tyson Schrader
English & Creative Writing