Collins initiates new dorm safety campaign

A new safety campaign beginning at Collins Residence Hall encourages students to close doors fully instead of propping them open, as well as warns them of the dangers of letting strangers into the hall. Community leaders will now have the authority to take the names of students caught securing doors open. Mandatory meetings held next Tuesday and Wednesday will inform students of the reasoning behind the new rules. Photo credit: Richard Hirst

Community leaders in Collins Residence Hall will hold mandatory all-hall meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with Officer Kandy Knowles of the Baylor Police Department, as part of a new safety campaign. The meetings will address major safety issues such as propping open doors and letting strangers into the building.

Collins community leaders created signage listing the dangers of propping open the dormitory doors. The signs emphasized how hard it is to control the damage offenders can do once they are in the building. The signs warn students that leaving their doors open gives people access to their personal belongings.

The signs read, “Although Baylor is a safe campus, there are still dangerous people who are seeking to take advantage of any situation.”

Columbus, N.J., senior Jessie Trespeses, a community leader at Collins, said the staff is taking the problem seriously. She said there were instances when people used small items like rocks, plastic bags, clothes and the rugs by each entrance to prop open doors. The Collins staff implemented repercussions to reduce how often these situations occur. Students that are caught will be written up and will have their Baylor ID numbers taken down.

“We want our residents to, ‘Stop, Don’t prop’” said Trespeses.

Trespeses said tailgating, also known as piggybacking, is a cause for concern. Tailgating occurs when a resident allows a stranger to enter the building as they walk in. In order to emphasize this problem, Collins community leaders created a video of people letting two men they did not know into the building. Trespeses said the video is meant to raise awareness and will be shown at the all-hall meetings.

“It’s a problem because anyone could walk onto campus with any motive at any time,” said San Antonio sophomore Nicole Young, another Collins community leader.

Every Baylor University residence hall encourages students to be cautious and do what they can to keep the building secure. Students were told to keep track of their student ID cards and report any suspicious behavior.

Young believes door propping has become a problem at Collins because of the number of people and doors in Collins. She said residents leave doors propped open out of convenience because they do not want to walk around to the front of the building, they are getting stuff out of their car or they want to make it easier for their friends to enter the building. Young said she hopes the residents will realize that this is an effort to help them and keep them safe, not just an excuse to implement more rules for them to follow.