Two o'clock cutoff leaves room for danger
It's been a late night. You've been working on your orgo
lab report for six hours. It's 3:00 a.m., and you're just now leaving
the Hatch computer lab. You can't wait to get home to your soft, warm
bed in your cozy, closet-like single in Chamberlain.
As you're walking past the Polar Bear, you hear footsteps
behind you. You think, "Oh, a fellow late-nighter is on his or her
way home." But there's something odd about these footsteps. They
seem to be getting closer. You quicken your pace. The footsteps do likewise.
You turn toward the chapel. The footsteps follow you. You begin to move
even faster. The footsteps match yours. You are forced to come to the
conclusion that you are being followed-and not by a fellow late-nighter.
You turn around and see the figure quickly approaching
you. You decide to make a break for Hyde. You start running. You reach
into your pocket for your ID. You have just enough time to pull out your
card, open the door, dash into Hyde, and pull the door closed behind you.
With your left hand on the door handle, you hold the
card in your other hand and thrust it toward the card reader. You yank
on the door, but nothing happens. The door doesn't open. You look in horror
as you see that the card reader still shows a red light.
And then it hits you. Your card won't work on the doors
of any dorm but your own after 2:00 a.m.
You turn around and try to scream, but it's too late.
The little-known fact that Bowdoin students cannot use their
ID cards to access dorms other than their own after 2:00 a.m. is not only
inconvenient, but also extremely dangerous. And the worst part of it is
that there is absolutely no reason why such a rule should even be in place.
And yet there are many, many reasons to allow students 24-hour
access into all of the dorms. Besides the obvious issue of safety, a number
of dorms do not have laundry space. It is not at all uncommon for students
to start their laundry very late at night, and it is often impossible
to get it all done before 2:00 a.m. There is no reason students should
be denied their clean underwear just because it's after 2:00 a.m.
Also, after 2:00 a.m., a friend cannot let a fellow student
into his or her dorm if that friend does not live in the same dorm as
the student. In this case, Security must be called to let the student
in. This creates not only a needless burden on Security, but also forces
a student to wait outside, which is in no way safe.
Why the College even has a 2:00 a.m. rule is unclear, but
it seems to hearken back to the days when girls were not allowed in dorms
at all after 8:00 p.m. It is an outdated, ridiculous, dangerous rule that
the College should do away with immediately before a real tragedy occurs.