Within the past couple months, SGA discussed concerns related to the ground floor of Wimmer Hall being accessible without scanning a SVC key card, and according to SGA Aurelius Hall Representative Phillip Montalbano, a solution is in the works.
The main entrance to Wimmer does not have a key card scanner, meaning SVC key cards are not required to access the ground floor. Because of this, a card is not needed to access the Wimmer lobby or laundry room.
Scanners on the Wimmer elevator and stairwell are present, and the limited access doors at the side of the building and at the second floor also have key card scanners. This means that any entry to the residence floors in Wimmer requires a key card to be scanned first.
Montalbano said that a new scanner is planned to be installed.
“SGA is co-funding a scanner to be installed outside the main entrance — the Wimmer Lane door — to Wimmer Hall,” Montalbano said. “The senate voted to approve the funding at our last meeting, and the work is going to be completed as soon as the campus resources handling the installation are able to get the work done.”
Montalbano said the issue of access to the ground floor of Wimmer has been discussed in SGA meetings multiple times, with a vote being made to address it in the last two meetings.
“A big concern was that non-residents were using the laundry room in Wimmer because they could access the building. This made it harder for residents of Wimmer to do their laundry, and the laundry room was often in disarray because of the extra traffic.” Montalbano said. “Another concern was that anyone may enter the building without a Saint Vincent ID.”
Montalbano said the handling of the issue is proactive, as there has not been any incident concerning access to the ground floor.
“We want to head off any future issues, and address the inconveniences caused by non-residents using the laundry room,” he said.
Michael Doelling, sophomore history major, said that the current access to the ground floor does not especially worry him.
“I’m really never in the lobby — the lobby for me is just a transit point, and you really don’t have to worry about some crazy person getting into [where you’re at], as everything else is blocked off by the scanners. It’s just the lobby that’s the problem, and the washing machines,” Doelling said.
A scanner restricting access to the laundry room would ultimately be helpful, he said, especially as excessive access to the facility could have contributed to the “nasty pile of clothes in the corner” and the washers breaking from misuse, which he has heard complaints about.
“It is really bizarre that people who don’t even live here can just go in and do their laundry,” Doelling said.
He said that addressing these concerns “would have good long-term effects” as it “could keep washing machines and drying machines there that you don’t have to pay for” and could better deter violent attackers.”
SGA’s Minutes document for October 17, which outlines the group’s discussions that day, noted complaints about access to the laundry room by non-Wimmer residents, such as the access making the facility inconvenient, and, in light of the “Winnie Palmer Scare,” scary.
Montalbano said that the installation of the scanner on the main door is sufficiently funded and will be done as soon as possible.
“Our FMO and Public Safety offices work very hard to provide a safe and
comfortable environment for us and they are very busy,” he said.
“However, we expect that the scanner will be able to be installed in the near future.”
They expect the installation to take place during a break in the academic year, he said.
According to Montalbano, Brother Norman Hipps O.S.B., president of SVC, told SGA that he would find and provide direct funding.
“We’re very thankful to Brother Norman for helping us accomplish this project in a timely manner, and for always being supportive of the initiatives set forward by SGA,” Montalbano said.
Doelling said that just as a main entry way scanner is good for other residence buildings like Saint Benedict, so would one benefit Wimmer.
“I think it’s worth it,” he said.
Photos: Matthew Wojtechko