Dissatisfaction with Card Access in McKenney

Christian Foley ’20, Contributing Writer

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McKenney Suites residents have mixed reactions to renovations made to the building during the summer, but one constant criticism: adding card access was a mistake.

“Keycards ruined everything about McKenney,” Andrew Zaccagnino ’20 said. The unique open structure, courtyard and balcony of the suite made students feel as if they were living off campus, he said. 

Students often would come to socialize with friends at the residence hall, but the new key cards are making that difficult. “It does make it harder to get friends into your room,” Chris Longo ’21 said. 

The addition of card access “provides another element of security between the outside and where residents are living and sleeping,” said Director of Residence Life and Housing Amanda George. George believes that this change will act as a check to ensure only people who should be accessing the suite are getting in.

Tucker Morin ’20 said he understands the decision to add key cards but that a sense of security was “not a main concern” for him. Additionally, not all entrances have keycards available, limiting where students can enter the building. “It’s obnoxious that we can’t swipe into the door closest to our room,” Morin said. 

While the college believes that this addition will help increase security, some students feel it presents a risk. Sienna Zittle ’20 often frequents McKenney to visit her friends. Because of the key cards, she said it can take up to five minutes for her to be let inside the suite. Depending on the situation, this can be “inconvenient and stress provoking,” said Zittle. When students are alone at night, in a hurry, or facing inclement weather, like Zittle they may not “feel comfortable standing outside alone for the long period of time.”

“These are all factors that I did not need to worry about before the addition,” Zittle said.

The addition of a keycard was part of phase two of construction to McKenney which began in 2016. Phase one, said George, which took place in the summer of 2017, focused on the interior of the rooms themselves. Phase two, which took place this summer, focused on the exterior of the suite. George said that while no further changes will be made to McKenney for the time being, she does expect that there will be some renovations to other housing options this summer. 

Other additions to McKenney included an updated common room, kitchen and laundry room. They were “a needed update” said Phil Petrina ’20. However, with all these changes, some students still deemed them unnecessary and, “more of a pain in the ass” said Peter Dubravski ’20.