MSU’s new building access protocol raises concerns among faculty

Security changes coming to Michigan State University campus
Security changes coming to Michigan State University campus
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:51 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In the wake of the mass shooting that happened on campus, Michigan State University has implemented a new building access protocol.

Under the new protocol, most buildings will close at 6 p.m. and require an MSU-issued ID card to gain entry. However, some members of the faculty are concerned about the new security plan and its potential impact on public events held on campus after 6 p.m.

“We’re concerned because the university has started closing most of the buildings on campus at 6 p.m. where they used to close at, I believe, at 10 or 11 p.m.,” said assistant professor David McCarthy.

McCarthy helps plan public events on campus and said he’s worried about access.

“And already we’re starting to think about postponing those or moving them somewhere off of campus,” McCarthy said. “And the events that are still happening are going to be harder to get into.”

McCarthy said he received an email from MSU asking for volunteers to man the doors during events that are open to the public. MSU’s spokesperson Dan Olsen said that they are seeking communication between event organizers and building managers to ensure safety.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s manning the doors,” Olsen said. “It’s working through the process to ask for that accommodation to the building access points that they need their guests to enter.”

In some cases, Olsen said that could mean lifting restrictions until the event is over.

“It was important to us that we have community feedback and find ways to enhance the security of our campus community while also balancing the fact that we are a public institution and we’re open to the public,” Olsen said.

However, McCarthy said that the new access protocols make it harder for guests to get into events on campus unless they are students, faculty or staff.

“The people that I’ve talked to feel like this is not an effective plan for improving safety, but it’s a very costly plan in terms of limiting people’s access to the campus,” McCarthy said.

MSU said that these new access protocols are just a first step. They will continue to evaluate best practices. The university is also restricting the number of public events in residence halls for the rest of the academic year, with no new events allowed.

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