UW officials say they are confident in dorm safety

UW officials say they are confident in dorm safety

UW-Madison officials said they are confident in the security measures put in place in dorms, after a shooting on Central Michigan University’s campus that killed two people Friday.

Despite all the security measures in place to prevent an intruder from coming into residence halls at UW-Madison, freshman Israel Oby said it can be easy to find a way into the residence halls.

“People will wait at the bottom of the elevator and they will say ‘Can you key this floor?’ and they will also wait at the door when the door is not open for somebody to just key the door and walk in behind them,” Oby said.

Oby still feels safe living in Witte Hall. The dorm is currently under renovation, including adding cameras on every floor.

Security precautions in dorms include- 24/7 controlled access to residential areas, regular UWPD patrols, cameras and staff presence during the day.

“The security of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. University Housing and UWPD have a strong relationship and continually evaluate security in response to issues and incidents that emerge here and elsewhere, and make updates accordingly,” said UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone.

Main doors to common areas remain unlocked during the day, allowing some access to the public. UWPD works with the campus to form security plans. UWPD Police Chief, Kristen Roman, said security also comes down to teaching students to be aware of their surroundings.

“Even locked buildings and restricted access is something that if a student allows or pops open doors, this piggybacking idea that we sometimes see. We are always trying to educate students on the importance of being aware of their surroundings and making sure the doors lock behind them,” said Roman.

Roman said safety is always a top priority, especially with the frequency of events like the Central Michigan University shooting that killed two people Friday.

“We use that as an opportunity to do our own check-in and review just to make sure the systems that we have in place are as secure as they can be,” she said.

But students say while the dorms are safe they can only be so secure.

“There is not much you can really do about people walking in behind people in the door,” Oby said.

Roman leads a group that includes other campus partners and evaluates safety procedures every time an event like a shooting happens across the nation. The group will meet in the coming weeks to review the events of the Central Michigan University shooting to see what they can learn from it.