By Kevin Lopez
Starting Sept. 18, Grand Rapids Community College will be implementing a new security measure that will reduce access to campus buildings and require students to use their RaiderCards to enter in the evenings.
According to the new plan, the college will leave classroom buildings unlocked between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and students will have access to buildings with their RaiderCards until 9:30 p.m. On Friday, RaiderCards will be required to access campus buildings after 5 p.m.
Also from Monday through Thursday the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center and Leslie E. Tassel MTEC will remain unlocked until 8 p.m.
GRCC’s Police Lt. Bob Decker said the new security measures will help deter people who shouldn’t be on campus.
“Well, the main concern is access to the building,” Decker said. “As far as limiting the doors, the time, and who has access to it such as the students with their RaiderCard, the amount of people, the time of day, and it’s overall a safer environment.”
The idea of using RaiderCards to access the buildings on campus was brought up after the MSU shooting that happened back in March.
GRCC President Charles Lepper introduced the plan to limit access to campus buildings at a town hall meeting in July when he discussed ways of improving safety and reassuring students on campus.
“Our buildings are too open,” Lepper said at the July 20 meeting. “Our buildings are too open for where we are situated, and we need to take a little bit more proactive approach to help secure our buildings without shutting the public out.”
With the new security measure being instituted soon, the Collegiate talked to students about how they feel about the changes coming to GRCC.
Ryleigh VanderTuin, 19, of Byron Center, said she felt that students might not like the new security measure.
“My first impression is that most people are going to be annoyed with it,” VanderTuin said. “Either they’re going to be in a rush and they might forget their RaiderCard or it’s just going to be more for students to have and be ready with, so for some I can see it being annoying for them.”
Meanwhile, Everardo Parada-Aragon, 19, of Grand Rapids, said he thinks the enhanced security measures will make GRCC safer.
“I feel like it’s way better for the community,” Parada-Aragon said. “It’s safer for all of us. I feel way more secure. That’s why I always carry my ID… I feel much safer and I think everyone else will, too.”
Some students questioned the effectiveness of only requiring RaiderCard access during off-peak times when fewer people are on campus.
Mason Wetters, 18, of Grand Rapids, said he felt that the changes were good, but was one of the students questioning the hours.
“Honestly, it makes sense, but I don’t know how many students have class before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.,” Wetters said. “So there really isn’t much of a reason to be in the building during that time.”
GRCC has been promoting this new change on their TVs in the hallways and with posters on the doors with the hours on them and indicating which doors will be affected by the new safety measure.
If you have lost or don’t have a RaiderCard, the Student Life office can provide you with one for free, while a replacement card will cost $10.
The new security measure will be implemented on Monday, Sept. 18.