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University fails to keep doors functioning

Submitted by Geoffrey Bara on January 31, 2013 – 4:44 pmNo Comment

This university has a terrible track record with doors.  Until recently, no fewer than three doors to the library sported “do not use” signs – signs that had been hanging for the entire Fall semester and before.

The automatic doors of North Hall, which require the swipe of a resident’s UALR ID, sat unmoving for the entirety of winter break.  As one of the residents who stayed on campus, I can assure you it was no small inconvenience to trudge from the parking lot all the way around to the front of the building – in the hopes that someone had left the little side door propped open – in the snow!

This brings me to an issue more pressing than mere inconvenience: security.  How safe can these doors be keeping our residents if they are forced to prop the doors open with sticks, rocks, or cardboard. Even now, the doors only work if one stands there jiggling the ID like the room key to a cheap motel room.

Not that I know anything about that.

Elevators have doors, and it is on this flimsy pretext that I segue onto the elevators.  In at least two buildings, only one of the elevators is functioning.  I have to get to my classes in Ross and Stabler Halls early to either climb the stairs (on the rare occasions during which my laziness fails me) or wait twice as long for the one elevator doing twice the business.

Can we talk, for a moment, of the state of the tiles in there?  Well, no, I suppose we can’t, because there aren’t any and haven’t been for ages.

I have written before about the potentially negative effects that an unsafe campus can have on the overall learning experience; the same can be said for a visibly deteriorating campus.  In much the same way as we all behave better in our church clothes, I believe we all learn better when the university is scrubbed behind its ears, too.

I won’t say they’ve done nothing; I have seen signs on the elevator in Stabler Hall proclaiming the situation to be under control, and that the elevator will be operational again soon.  No specific date, however, is given.  After the seemingly endless months during which half of the library’s doors advertised their uselessness (“do not use”), I have little confidence that a sign is in and of itself a “sign” of imminent repair.

To give credit where it’s due, though, it must be said that the maintenance staff fir the dorms is very prompt, pleasant, and competent.  Those guys are terrific.

I have chosen to make UALR my home: as a first year scholar it is requested though not required that I live on campus.  I wanted the full college immersion experience, and so I moved into North Hall.  As such, I consider the University my landlord — I pay no small amount of money to live here and I should be able to get into my building without having to prowl around checking every point of entry like some excessively well-dressed cat burglar.

College is about opening doors.  I mean this of course in the metaphorical sense, but I think we can all agree that creating opportunity for the students is a lot easier when we have, to quote Michael Caine in “Noises Off,” “doors that open when they open, and close when they close!”

Get it together, UALR


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