OP-EDS

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January 31, 2005

Lock up or lock down

A series of thefts in Pierce Hall this weekend has some members of the dorm community reevaluating their standards for security, privacy, and convenience. While the Maroon understands the appeal to keep doors unlocked in a laid-back dorm environment, we hope students will be extra-vigilant with their possessions in light of these developments.

But the practical suggestions don't stop there. While several Pierce residents found their laptops missing over the weekend, laptop theft is not an isolated incident—material should be backed up in case a computer is stolen or misplaced any time during the school year. Residents should also be on the alert for those asking to be signed in to the dorms. If the guest is waiting for a friend, the friend should be able to come downstairs and sign in the guest. This is not only common sense; it's also good manners.

While front desk security is one component of stopping intruders, it is not the only one. Pierce residents who fail to flash their UCID when entering the building, instead relying on the "honor system," must realize that the thieves may have sneaked in using a similar method. But we also do not want our dorms to transform into soulless police states. The Maroon believes the installation of security cameras is a practical suggestion due to the current investigation.

Many upperclassmen will recall that this is not the first string of thefts to hit Pierce in recent years. Further, in the past week, we've begun to realize that nothing is sacred to some thieves (bring back Ida Noyes!). Students should be on alert and lock those doors. Only then can a true dorm atmosphere be achieved. Common sense combined with safety can foster convenience and community.