The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

EagleOne access should be required for all campus buildings

3 min read

Different buildings on campus have different levels of eagle one access, like Virginia and Willard. | Wilson Jackson, The Weekly Ringer


Staff Writer

To improve the safety of the UMW community, entrances to all on-campus buildings should require EagleOne cards 24 hours a day. 

In order to enter any of the dorms on campus, students are required to use their EagleOne IDs to swipe in. This serves as a security measure for students living on campus, as it prevents people who are not enrolled at the university and students who live elsewhere from gaining access to personal living quarters.

However, this is not the case for other buildings on campus. 

For example, because UMW is an open campus, anyone from the public is allowed to enter buildings such as the Cedric Rucker University Center, Simpson Library, Hurley Convergence Center and all of the classroom buildings across campus. Several of those buildings, such as the CRUC, close at night, while others, like the HCC, require EagleOne card access after a certain hour, depending on the day. However, that leaves a wide range of time during which any person can come and go as they please, causing students to feel unsafe. 

Students have spoken up about concerns regarding their safety many times. 

In February 2021, multiple female students reported being followed by a man who was trying to enter Willard Hall, a freshman dorm room, according to an article by The Weekly Ringer.

Two other safety concerns occurred on Friday, April 9, 2021, when students received two campus safety alerts via email, as reported in The Weekly Ringer. The first said that a man called a student a racial slur in the UMW Apartments parking lot, and the second said that two students were approached by a half-naked man near the amphitheater. 

In a separate case in September 2021, multiple female students were approached by a man on the UMW campus, as reported by The Weekly Ringer. Though they had never met before, the man recognized the students and knew them by name after viewing their social media profiles.

All of these instances involved people who were not affiliated with UMW having access to the campus.

The UMW campus is located less than five minutes from several residential neighborhoods and downtown Fredericksburg. Residents from nearby areas stroll down campus daily. Knowing that just about anyone could enter buildings where students are learning, eating or living is disconcerting. 

Requiring card access to on-campus buildings has also been effective at other universities. For example, Stephen Mallozzi, a recent graduate and former resident assistant at the University of Virginia, said there have been several instances where requiring card access on grounds has benefitted his residents.

“Just last year, two of my residents were followed back to their dorm building by a lacrosse player from some Pennsylvania university,” said Mallozzi. “He tried to get into the building after them but they shut the door in time and it locked.” 

The required card access prevented him from following the girls to their room, and he was later reprimanded by the police, Mallozzi said. 

Of course, there is a convenience factor for buildings that don’t require card access. Most students don’t want to have their card ready just to get to class, and forgetting your EagleOne would be a much bigger issue for students if all buildings required ID access. 

“Sometimes I miss my morning alarm and, in my rush to class, I forget my ID,” said Ruby Scopko, a junior biomedical sciences major. 

In cases like these, having to go back to your dorm building could make you late to class or the event you’re heading to. Scopko said, “I can’t imagine having to go back to my apartment to get it just so I can get into class.” 

However, our tendency to not remember our cards is likely reinforced by how little we have to use them every day. If we had to use them for more than purchasing food and entering our residence halls, we would get used to the habit and treat them more like our key ring or wallet. 

Despite being inconvenient at times, the benefits of requiring EagleOne card access for all buildings on campus far exceed the costs.

To ensure the safety of all students, we need to put this change in place. Student, staff and faculty safety should be the University’s top priority, and requiring EagleOne card access for all buildings—not just residence halls—would help make that a reality.