Students at the Eastman School of Music are divided on the latest security update sent out by Dean Jamal Rossi on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The update states that all doors except those leading into Lowry Hall will be locked and accessible by swipe card only. A front desk will also remain at the Lowry Hall entrance at all times, where students and faculty will be required to present their IDs and any visitors will have to sign in.
The changes, slated to begin Monday, Feb. 18, are the latest in a string of security developments made in response to the attempted assault of an Eastman student in the annex practice rooms last September.
UR administration has already placed new swipe access points throughout the school, most notably in the basement of the annex and the Old Sibley Library.
Many Eastman students have concerns about how the latest security update will adversely impact ease of accessibility and inclusion to and on the campus.
Senior Jing Tian Ngiaw believes that this new security update is unnecessary. Ngiaw, who works with children for the Eastman Community Music School, expressed her concerns about how the new update might affect the school.
“Parents juggling [several] young kids won’t be able to stop and find IDs every time they walk into school,” Ngiaw said.
But some students are in favor of a more secure campus. Sophomore Nate Malkow says he feels “fairly safe” at Eastman, but approves of security measures that will help maintain that feeling.
Malkow suggested making one of the main entrances a ramp. “It wouldn’t be that hard to make a small ramp up the stairs [of the entrance to Lowry Hall],” he said, noting that the school often does this when large instruments or set pieces for operas are being loaded into the school. He hopes the administration will find ways to keep the campus as accessible as possible for students, faculty, families, and patrons.
Dean Rossi said in his broadcast email that Eastman students can expect to receive more information through and security session Q&As that will take place throughout the spring semester.
Correction (2/18/19): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Eastman’s handicap-accessible doors are all swipe-access only. In fact, the handicap-accessible entrance left of Lowry’s hall’s main doors on Gibbs Street has a doorbell to alert security to those wishing to enter.