Res Life tries fob experiment

September 15th, 2011

The Office of Residence Life has decided to conduct an experiment this school year to see if there would be a greater sense of community and reduced vandalism amongst residents of residence floors if they are protected by fobs.

Each Greek life floor already has fob-access floors in Campion Hall, Hamlin Hall and Millor Hall. The doors to the floors are private and the Greek resident has to swipe his or her fob in order to get onto the floor. Only residents of that floor are allowed access to their specific fraternity or sorority floor. There are several main reasons for having this private access, including preserving the Greek sense of community and reducing vandalism.

The first floor of Millor, the side facing Bernet Hall, was chosen for the experiment because fobs were already made for private access to the floor from previous years. That way, there was no additional cost to install fob equipment for a different floor.

“Because the fobbed doors have helped promote successful communities, increased security and limited vandalism on Greek organization floors, the Office of Residence Life wanted to see if there would be a similar impact on a traditional residential community,” said Lisa Brown, JCU’s director of residence life. “[We chose that floor because] the fob equipment was already in place so no additional equipment was needed.”

Students who live on the floor questioned why their floor was chosen for the experiment.

“At first, I thought the fobbed floor was just another hassle, but it seems to have less traffic than other floors I have lived on in the past,” said junior Andrew Martin, a resident of the floor. “The restricted access to the floor definitely makes for more interaction between those living on the floor as opposed to other floors where anyone from the building can roam the halls.”

The fob equipment was already in place on the floor because Delta Tau Delta used to live there. They moved to the second floor in Millor a few years ago, and the fob equipment stayed in place.

“The fob equipment has been in place, however, because of changes to the door hardware the fobs function properly,” Brown said. “Prior to hardware changes, the doors would lock unexpectedly and prevent student access to the floor.  The doors were also often propped which created general safety and fire safety concerns.”

According to Brown, Residence Life will be talking to residents of the floor to see if having private access by fob had any impact. The office will also be monitoring vandalism on the fob-access floor.

“Student feedback will be important in this process as we determine the next steps,” Brown said. “We will be asking [if] the sense of community increased. How safe do residents feel? What type of vandalism has occurred in the community? The students living on the first floor will be key contributors to this conversation.”

Brown said that if the experiment works, there is no definite, long-term plan to require fob access to every floor on campus. The cost to install fob equipment, she said, is substantial.