Flames of the Torch: 24-hour campus is a safer, happier home to all

The University approved funding for the first floor of the library to remain open 24 hours a day through the end of the 2013-14 school year, according to Dr. Theresa Maylone, dean of University libraries.

First off, such a change is a positive one. While we can certainly understand some of the issues that come with keeping a building like the D’Angelo Center open 24 hours a day, there needs to be a regular building where students can go regardless of time. Whether the library is the proper space for that is a discussion for another day.

Another issue that the Torch has come across that appears to be fixed in a roundabout way thanks to this change is campus access for non-resident students.

Technically speaking, the gates to the University are closed to non-resident students once it is past sign-in time for the Residence Halls. After that point, the rule of thumb has been that if you say you’re going to the library, you’re allowed on campus.

With the 24-hour service coming to the library, one would infer that the campus would then be accessible all hours of the day and night to every student. That’s something that should have been solved a long time ago.

Whatever the reason, it just doesn’t make much sense that any student who possesses a valid StormCard shouldn’t be allowed on campus regardless of time.

There are many instances when students are coming from places west of campus like Parsons Boulevard or 164th Street and are trying to go to apartments and houses beyond Utopia. You know what that means? They’re walking directly toward campus and then have to navigate their way around the campus while walking quickly and hoping they don’t get mugged because let’s face it – your friend who lives on Parsons isn’t walking you home at 4:30 a.m. no
matter what the Public Safety advisories say.

What could be a simple answer to shortening walking distances, and more importantly, preventing becoming a Public Safety advisory? Walking across campus instead of around it. But if you’re not a resident student, you’re not getting
on campus in those early morning hours.

Like we said earlier, all of this becomes a lot more irrelevant with a 24-hour study space that students can say they’re going to in order to make their way across campus, but why does it have to come to that? The University makes it clear that it wants to protect students, yet this rule hurts students who aren’t living on campus but not really commuters. It’s a simple solution in our view – who knows? – maybe prevent the next late-night incident involving a student
off campus.