Sick of checking in at the front desk? A number of students here at Fitchburg State complain about checking in when entering student housing, but the school says it is necessary whether they like it or not. Aubuchon Hall, Herlihy Hall, Russell Towers, and Mara Village have check-in required for students to enter the building. A front-desk worker is always present between 3 p.m. and 9 a.m, Sunday through Saturday. Students are hired to work various shifts at the front desk.
The proper protocol for a front-desk worker is to “make sure that every student that walks in [has] their student ID and check the roster to make sure they live in the building,” says former front-desk worker Yaritza Rojas. “Also, whenever they had a visitor, I had to sign them in. And if a student looked like they had a suspicious bag, I had to check it.”
Last year, the policy was a little different. It used to be that front desk workers would regularly look into students’ bags but now it is only done if there is suspicion. For instance, bottle-shaped bags that clink will probably be checked at the door. If a front desk worker were to find alcohol or an unwanted visitor in the building, he or she would call campus police to take care of it.
When asked about the reason for check-in at dorms, Mara Village Resident Director Jonas Halley said it is “to promote the safety of the students.” It is noticeable that some buildings do not have check-in. Maras 1-7 do not “due to a lack of resources. It would take seven additional workers and seven additional front desks,” says Halley.
Shahein Karesh, a student rooming at a building with check-in, says it is sometimes a hassle when entering the building. “Obviously if we have access to the building, we live there.” But when asked whether check-in is necessary, Karesh said, “Yes. It maintains our safety so we don’t have strange people coming in.”
With the discontinuance of regularly checking students’ bags, it is evident that the school has eased up on students. Also, there hasn’t been any news of adding front desks to any of the residence halls without them.