Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) voted on a resolution to support implementing Ring doorbells on campus at its March 15 meeting.
The resolution outlines the installation of the doorbells on select residence halls. This initiative will help create a safer environment on campus by giving students somewhere to go if they feel unsafe and cannot quickly get back to their residence.
On-Campus Senator Ryan Parker, one of the authors of the resolution, put together the map of proposed locations for the doorbells.
“I picked what I believe to be the most strategic dorms,” Parker said. “We focused more on North Quad since a lot of assaults happen on North Quad.”
If students feel unsafe, they would be able to ring the doorbell on one of the residence halls and be let into the lobby by the Resident Assistant (RA) on duty. The RA would work with the student to diffuse the situation and help accordingly, possibly by contacting the Miami University Police Department (MUPD).
On-Campus Senator Zachary Roemer said if the resolution is passed, the work of installing and maintaining the doorbells will be delegated to Information Technology (IT), which will put extra pressure on the staff.
“[IT is] wholly understaffed and will not be able to take this on,” Roemer said. “That is the conversation that the senators need to have with IT before this legislation can even be heard by this body.”
Another concern with the resolution was students’ privacy because the doorbells have cameras. Secretary of Safety Harper Sutton said cameras are needed to help identify if there is a situation where someone needs help.
“[Cameras are] helpful in determining if somebody is actually there or if somebody is being silly and doing a little prank,” Sutton said. “Also mentioned in the legislation, cameras will deter perpetrators. So while that’s not a surefire thing, the cameras do add an additional layer of protection.”
Secretary of Finance Ben Waugh said he thought the resolution wasn’t ready to go through given the concerns surrounding privacy and administration.
“I think that the authors would be served better to bring this back when they’ve done a little bit more work with the key administrators who need to collaborate on this initiative in order for it to take place,” Waugh said. “I understand that we want to show student support to those administrators, but I think in order to really gain student support we have to have a clear picture of what the initiative fully comprises.”
Sutton said she would encourage the members of ASG to pass the resolution because it promotes campus safety.
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“I understand concerns over privacy and the intent of whoever is entering the residence hall, but I think we can’t stop someone else’s safety over our own safety,” Sutton said.
The resolution passed with 27 yeses, one no and four abstentions.
ASG’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, April 5 in the Joslin Senate Chamber in Armstrong Student Center.