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Bird Library security changes protect students

Syracuse University’s new security protocol implemented at the beginning of this semester in E.S. Bird Library is commendable, but the policy requires some changes.

Starting on Monday, Jan. 13, Bird Library began closing the entrance on the University Place side of the building after 8 p.m. To enter the library, students must now use the Waverly Avenue entrance at the side of the building and present their SU or State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry ID card to a security guard before they are granted entrance to the building. Security personnel will also check the IDs of everyone who is already in the library at 8 p.m.

While this is not a drastic change in security, as students are required to swipe their ID cards to unlock the library doors after 8 p.m., closing the entrance on University Place is an inconvenience to students.

The University Place entrance is a more direct entrance for a larger part of campus, particularly many of the residence halls and anyone coming on a bus from South Campus and stopping nearby.

Given the new security measures, it would be more convenient to keep both doors open. However, if one entrance must be closed past 8 p.m., Waverly Avenue is a better choice.

Still, despite this inconvenience, the new security measures are beneficial to students, as they ensure that Bird Library remains a safe learning environment.

Without ID checks, it was possible for non-students to enter the library prior to 8 p.m. and then stay there all night. This was concerning to students and university officials. It was also disruptive to students studying in the library. With the new measures, only students who are trying to study will be allowed into the library.

During the day, Bird Library acts as both a public library and a university library, but most public libraries are closed by 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., the library should function exclusively as a university library that serves students.

In addition, many university buildings — most notably residence halls — close after 8 p.m. and require SU identification for entrance. The library should be held to the same security standards.

The university’s first priority should be the success and protection of its students. The new security measures, while somewhat inconvenient, are a successful step toward ensuring the safety of SU students.

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