Students’ petition changed new door rule at Madonna Hall

Brigid Edmunds, Staff Writer

All is back to normal in Madonna Hall after residents started a petition earlier this year when hall doors were being locked by Security two hours earlier than normal.

This year, officers began locking doors at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends. In years prior, Campus Safety officers locked the back doors of the residence hall at 10 p.m. during the week and at midnight on weekends.

Ross Novak, who joined the Residence Life staff as Director of Housing earlier this year, said, “It was my understanding, at that time, that the doors had been locked in the past at 8 o’clock.”

Several students were unhappy about the changes. Shannon Atwell, a senior graphic design major who lives in Madonna, started a petition to let the housing staff know the students’ concerns.

“I started the petition after I heard students in the building expressing their concerns over the lock time,” Atwell said. Out of the 228 students that live in Madonna, 159 had signed the petition.

In response to this, Novak met with students for a town hall meeting to discuss the problems they had with the new lock times.

“Residents [brought] up a lot of good points, such as classes being let out at 9 p.m., the fact that handicapped parking [is] in the back of Madonna, and that the gym doesn’t close until later at night,” Atwell explained.

Novak and the Residence Life staff took the students’ concerns into consideration and changed the hours back to normal.  On Oct. 10, Novak sent an email to the residents informing them that starting Oct. 12, the doors would be locked at 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Novak said that whenever residents have a housing concern, they should not hesitate to bring it to his attention.  “I would encourage [students] to get involved. If they have concerns about resident life, I’m happy to listen to those concerns.”