Office of Residence Life to test safes in students’ rooms
Personal safety is a popular issue among students, and many SU officials address it in response to student concern. The Office of Housing and Residence Life, however, is also working together to ensure the safety of students’ belongings.
Starting next week, about 40 Syracuse University students will have personal safes installed in their dorm rooms or South Campus apartments as part of a test program that could lead to the placement of these safes campus-wide.
The program was previously piloted about seven to eight years ago, said David Kohr, director of Housing, Meal Plan and ID Card Services. A lack of interest and appropriate installation location, as well as the unwieldy size of the safes, kept the program from realization.
‘It’s an old idea that has a new life,’ Kohr said.
Now there are new and sleeker models of safes to choose from. ORL officials have selected two different models of safes made by different companies and equipped with slightly different security systems. Each model will be installed in rooms participating in the program so roommates can compare and contrast the features of the two safes as they use them.
The safes are just big enough to accommodate a laptop and can be operated with a PIN pad. One of the models can be opened with an ID card or credit card. Each safe also has a backup code. These new features weren’t offered on the large, turn-dial safes previously tested.
ORL officials were responsible for selecting students who will be testing the safes. They requested staff to ask students who would be interested, such as hall council or Residence Hall Association members and RAs, but also students with no ORL affiliation, said William Longcore, associate director of ORL.
Christopher Reid, a sophomore computer graphics major, said he and his roommates were randomly chosen by Booth Hall staff to test out the safes.
‘If I don’t have to pay for it, I’m chill with it,’ Reid said. ‘It sounds like a good idea so far, as long as it’s not too big and ugly.’
Though Reid has not been particularly worried about the safety of his valuables, he said he will now worry even less. He plans to use the safe mainly when he leaves on trips.
Reid and other students will test out these personal safes and provide feedback to ORL through surveys and focus groups. Housing will know by March or April whether or not the safes were successful and if they should be installed campus-wide in the same manner that safes are installed in other colleges and universities.
Rather than combat an identified problem, the idea behind installation of the safes is something ORL wanted to do to help students feel comfortable leaving valuables in their room.
‘It’s not so much the issue of theft; it’s more peace of mind,’ Kohr said.
For freshman speech communications major Amanda Roche, another participant in the pilot program, her safe will also make her feel more at ease, though she feels she can trust others on her residence hall floor. However, Roche remains concerned about another security problem.
‘I’m more scared about walking alone by myself than about my stuff being stolen,’ she said.
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