Last night, a great dialogue began on the Class of 2015 page on Facebook. Students in Biever Hall voiced frustration over receiving damage billing for vandalism and propped open wing doors. As this dialogue unfolded, we noticed several points that needed clarification as we hope this conversation continues.
First, a bit of history on Biever Hall: Many years ago, Biever was a single-gender building. At that time, the doors for each wing were unlocked. However, as vandalism and other damages increased, the decision was made to lock the doors as a means of providing accountability for each wing. As a result of locking the door, each wing became responsible for their own community damages.
Later, when Biever moved from a single-gender building to a mixed gender building, it became even more important to maintain the locked doors as a safety measure. The locked doors allowed for an increased level of security as students walked to and from a communal bathroom. This final measure brings us to where we are today: that each wing is divided by gender, and thus the doors serve not only to protect individual’s safety, but also give an added measure of privacy.
When this safety and security measure is over-ridden by propping the doors open, then, there must be some means of holding accountability. That’s where the fine comes in. At the beginning of the year (and continuing throughout), our RA’s and professional staff have informed students of these charges if the doors were left open. Additionally, Area Director Alex Kelch proactively sent a building-wide email to Biever residents notifying them of potential charges, not only regarding the wing doors, but also of continued vandalism (graffiti, extensive cleaning in the bathrooms and hallways, physical damage to the doors, tagging, pulling down of emergency notification signs, etc.) throughout the building.
So that’s the story of the Biever Hall Wing Doors. What do you think? We encourage your comments here, and would welcome a conversation with any concerned individuals. Better yet, take action and visit the Residence Hall Association meeting tonight (and every Wednesday night) at 9:30 in the Buddig Mushroom. This “Home-owner’s Association of the Residence Halls” is open to hearing ideas and helping students develop a course of action.