Better safe than whiney

by Editorial Board / Beacon Staff • February 12, 2014

At issue: Emerson students are upset about the proposed tap-in policy.

Our take: This is an appropriate course of action

When the new 24/7 ID tapping policy was announced via email, the student reaction was palpable. Many feel annoyed simply because of the additional time it may take them to get into buildings while going to class. However, criticisms like this only illustrate a sense of misapprehension and pettiness—the ID tapping procedure is being implemented for the sole purpose of protecting our student body. Surely that is worth two additional seconds on our way to Dress Codes.

The previous incidents of trespassing on campus drew scoldings and critiques from Emerson students—and rightfully so. It is the school’s obligation to provide a safe environment for the residents who put enough trust in the security to live on campus. It is not out of bounds for the student body to complain when safety precautions slack.

However, this means there is an inherent contradiction in the objections to the 24/7 safety proposal. Emerson students cannot have it both ways, where complaints about intruders accompany grumbling about trying to filter out those intruders. In time, the policy should be fine-tuned to accommodate class surges and the other concerns being voiced. The school should listen to that—just as it listened to our cries about the man who somehow entered the Little Building in 2012 without being asked for his ID first.

The proposed security measures shouldn’t be shrugged off as an extreme reaction to that intruder. Critics may observe an ID-tapping procedure will do little to prevent an extreme event, like a gunman. But before we discredit the effectiveness or worth of this system, it is imperative we remember the multitude of other threats that could be thwarted. Think in terms of an abusive ex. An estranged parent who lost custody. A drunken wanderer from Whiskey Saigon. These threats are more common than gun violence—and are an everyday fear for some students. To reject the 24/7 ID policy on the grounds that the danger it protects us from is slim to none is to belittle the danger students in other situations may be in.

We don’t mean to suggest that any security measures on campus would be acceptable—no one wants the security desks to turn into TSA stops. But a minor inconvenience is a far cry from a police state.

So maybe it will take you a few more seconds than usual to get to class. But before you whine, remember: There are people in the world with serious problems, and increased security should be something to praise, not disdain.