Tensions have risen across campus as the fight for the liberation of the doors to Douglass Dining Hall has picked up. The basis of the doors’ fight is that the University has falsely labeled them as walls by putting up signs telling people not to use the doors.
Previously, the movement was limited to the two sets of doors through which traffic is completely restricted. One of these sets of doors is across from the Douglass entrance, and the other is by the “Allergen Free” station right below the footbridge to Wilson Commons.
“There have already been movements for civil rights, animal rights, property rights, states’ rights, people even fight for their right to paaaaar-tay,” the left door below the footbridge to Wilson Commons said. “We just want to be ourselves, to be open.”
While it is unclear when or why the movement began, it is clear that ever since it was discovered that doors could talk, their focus has been on fighting what they say is an unconstitutional affront to their identity as doors.
The doors have received support from the University Fire Door Union, which waged and lost a similar fight with the University back in the 1970s, leading its members to be universally marked with signs saying, “THIS DOOR MUST REMAIN CLOSED AT ALL TIMES,” a humiliating defeat that the union maintains to this day was tantamount to branding.
“For years, this institution has forced a false identity onto us,” a spokesperson for union said, “and now they have the nerve to build even more doors that they never plan to open. We will not stand for this violation of basic door rights.”
While the union found little support in the ‘70s, this time around the Douglass Doors’ case has received national attention. The Organization for Portal Egalitarianism Nationally, or OPEN, has devoted millions of dollars to the legal fees for this case.
“These brave doors saw an opening,” said OPEN President Theodoor Doorsevelt. “Our organization will support any door, gate, or other entryway that is prevented from living up to its full potential.”
However, there are voices which support the administration. The Consortium of Lawful Obedience for Strength of Entrances and Doorways, also known as CLOSED, has focused its money on lobbying state officials to enact laws to restrict the rights of doors.
The University still has not budged on its declaration that these doors should remain closed. It is still unclear why the doors are supposed to always be closed, though analysts have hypothesized that it may be for air conditioning purposes or for traffic control so that only those who have paid can enter the dining hall.
With the increased support the doors have received from OPEN, they announced last week that they have hired high-profile attorney Patty O’Dore to take charge of their case. The hiring came after their case was dismissed by the New York Supreme Court, which claimed that doors are unable to take legal action. O’Dore quickly announced that they would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
“Some might look at last week’s ruling as a setback,” O’Dore said, “but we look forward to taking this case to the Supreme Court, where we can set a national precedent that doors around the country can not be shut up.”
With the case heading to the highest court in the land, the stakes are high — the future of doors across the country may hinge on its outcome.