By Liz Martinez and Kirsten Nguyen, The Whetstone
Junior My’Asia Davis was startled when she saw a stranger in the College Center.
“He was African American wearing red, white and blue colors, blasting music in the hallway,” she said.
Sophomore Evan Anderson also noticed the stranger.
“One time in the College Center my teammates and I noticed a stranger dancing and nobody knew who he was,” he said.
Anderson said he felt uneasy.
“It’s scary because you really have no clue who can walk in the building,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of students feel uncomfortable about that.”
After witnessing the stranger, Davis went to Student Affairs. The office called security and had the stranger removed.
Wesley is an open campus with key-pad locks only on select buildings. This has raised concerns among some students about safety and accessibility on campus. The stranger Davis and Anderson witnessed wasn’t the only intruder on campus Wesley’s security has had to deal with, Director of Safety and Security Walt Beaupre said.
“From time to time, we’ve had trespassers on our campus,” he said. “Depending on the circumstances, we would either ask the trespasser to leave, or call Dover police.”
Key-pad locks are on every dorm and on the basement of College Center. They require an ID for entry.
“I think it’s a good idea to use IDs to get into buildings so people can feel safe,” Sophomore Jeanerre Smith said.
Many students, faculty and staff have discussed the idea of adding key-pad locks to all of the buildings on campus as an extra safety measure.
“I recall in 2015 the SGA made a commitment to pay for a portion of the security pads in the College Center,” Dean of Students Wanda Anderson said.
SGA president Destiny Hollis said that SGA was going to pay a portion of the costs in order to get key-pad locks installed.
“The original proposal was to install keypads on the academic buildings around campus,” she said. “SGA challenged Wesley to raise money through our donors and we were going to match the money that they raised.”
The money was not raised, but it is still unclear why it wasn’t. After speaking to the director of facility management and vice president of institutional advancement they were unaware of any key pad locks being added to the campus or money being raised for the installation.
Beaupre said it was still a possibility to add more key-pad locks to campus.
“We are working with our facilities team and have obtained proposals from contractors to
upgrade the remainder of our exterior doors to the card access system,” he said.
For each individual key-pad lock to be installed it will cost between $3000 and $4000 which includes equipment and labor.
Beaupre said the goal is to have all of Wesley’s exterior doors to all of the facilities on the card access system.
Smith said knowing anyone can walk onto campus makes her feel unsafe because the campus sits next to a bad neighborhood.
“The locks would make you feel more safe and not worry about who will get into school,” she said.
Freshman Riley Mead also said locks would be beneficial.
“It wouldn’t be extra work we all already have to carry our IDs when we go out of our dorms,” she said.
Wanda Anderson said she is worried about students’ safety.
“I am less concerned about me feeling safe but I am truly more concerned about students feeling safe because they spend the most amount of time on campus,” she said.
My’Asia Davis said she trusts Wesley’s security because she’s seen them throughout the day on campus.
“They hired more security and I think that was a good idea,” she said.
Freshman Connor Davis also said he has faith in Wesley College’s security.
“I believe Wesley College is doing everything they reasonably can do to keep us safe,” he said.
Wanda Anderson confirmed the increase of security, RA’s, and front desk staff to continue to strengthen the security at Wesley.
“In the evenings they sit in front of the desk to monitor who enters the residence halls,” she said.
Hollis believes installing key-pad locks would not just help with intruders. It would benefit students so they can utilize their departments’ labs to finish assignments after school hours when academic buildings are closed.
“It’s sometimes difficult because students often need to get into their academic buildings after hours,” she said.
Although Davis has seen a stranger wander onto campus, she said she appreciates security’s precautions.
“There has not been an incident that I didn’t see Wesley College security handled properly,” she said.