Students React to Change in Building Security

Administrators are looking to provide a safer parking lot after accidents startled the community earlier this year.

Administrators are looking to provide a safer parking lot after accidents startled the community earlier this year.

By Stephana Ocneanu, Staff Writer

As of Mon., Mar. 11, changes in the building’s door locks were made to enhance security for students and staff. Door #23, located by the Gymnastics Gym and Door #24, located by the Black Box Theater / Pool Hallway, will now only be accessible to faculty and staff with a school identification card with programmed access. The implemented changes require all students to enter through the front entrance of the school.

Those most affected by these changes is, of course, the students. Because of its proximity to the student parking lot, the ‘pool’ doors have become the more favorable entrance for student-athletes and drivers. As the changes were made effective on Monday morning, many students arrived at school surprised and confused when they were directed to enter through the main entrance.

“I found out about the changes, when I arrived at school on Monday, after walking up to the pool doors only for the security guard to open the door, tell me I wasn’t allowed to enter, and then closing it in my face. It was around 8:06 am and I had to run around the school to the main entrance and then back to the opposite side to my class, resulting in me being late to first period,” senior Nikolina Jambrusic said.

Met with feelings of confusion was also quite a bit of frustration for many students, especially those who have to come to school earlier than usual. With the spring season already underway, many student-athletes find themselves annoyed with having to enter through the opposite side of the school — complicating what used to be a simple shortcut or path to the field house, gym, or pool.

“I am personally not a fan of the change because a lot of people use those specific doors every day to get in and out of school. Especially being a student-athlete, sometimes I have morning practice at 5 or 6 am and when it’s cold and dark out, I don’t want to have to walk all the way from the student parking lot to the front doors and then back to the other side again,” senior and varsity water polo player Lauren Brace said.

While it may be more of a hassle to have all students enter through the main entrance, some students appreciate the step up in security for the sake of those inside the school.

“It makes sense why it would increase safety because any person that looks like a student, but doesn’t actually go to West, can come through that [pool] hallway and have bad intentions. By closing the doors from the black box it will make any person who comes in be seen by security in the front lobby,” junior Leslie RamirezĀ said.

Even as such changes in the building security were implemented to ensure the safety of those inside the building, the students themselves were still largely uninformed. Although teachers and faculty members will continue to have access to said entrances, they were the only ones who received an email or announcement of the change, while the students were unaware of it when arriving at school on Monday

“I understand where it’s coming from, I get that we want to keep the students safe, but I also think it’s very important to keep the students updated so they know what to do. If students go through another entrance then realize it’s locked, then they have to walk all the way to the main entrance where it’s already really crowded. It’s just better to keep everyone notified,” freshman Jake Pranian said.

Still, there are some students who find the change completely unnecessary and more of a nuisance or a hassle than a simple safety measure. SeniorĀ Tiffany Chin, who drives herself to school every morning for 7 am track practice, offered an alternative to such changes: improve the security on the inside before increasing it on the outside.

“It doesn’t really do anything when it’s not locked ALL the time, sometimes the doors are open. Instead, we should have more training for the security guards and more practice for students in case a situation occurred that needed everyone to follow specific directions,” Chin said.

Whether you get dropped off by a parent or you drive yourself, have 5 am practice or 9 am late start, all students will still be required to enter through the main entrance doors in the morning.