That Obnoxious P-Selz Alarm

Photo Credit: Goucher College

Article by Collin Lyle 

Within the recently completed Pagliaro Selz Residence Hall, there is one primary fire exit for all the floors that lead to the loop road closest to the President’s House. This fire exit has become a main point of traffic.  Part of this issue is simply due to the construction as two out of the other three primary building exits are somewhat walled in by fencing and will be that way until buildings B and C of the First-Year Village are complete.  Once that construction has completed, the fire exit will still be the fastest route to take to and from Stimson and a handful of other campus spots. Being that it is a fire exit, there is no card swipe available to open the door from the inside. That has not stopped students from getting in through the door via propping it open with all sorts of objects ranging from small rocks and broken forks, to discarded water bottles and soggy pieces of cardboard.

This has resulted in somewhat of a security complication as there are also no card swipes required to get onto any of the floors once you enter via the fire exit door, meaning that anyone can come and go so long as the door remains propped open. This has since taken two semesters to be addressed. It was addressed via the installation of an alarm on the door. Since the installment of the alarm, if a resident were to leave through the fire exit, prop it open on their way out, and while they returned, re-opened the propped door, a rather loud alarm would sound. They or anyone can still get into the building via the propped open door, but now it just makes a bit of noise when they do.

Troublesome is the fact that the alarm immediately shuts off as soon as the door is closed and not a hoot is given about who has entered. Even worse, if the door is left in it’s propped open position after individuals have re-entered, the alarm will continue to sound until one of the bothered residents goes and removes the prop from the door. What is problematic about this situation is that even with the alarm, the door remains a security risk, but on top of that it now angers residents who are in rooms (such as mine) that are adjacent to the stairwell. It is bad enough that the stairwell is used for a large amount of noisy foot traffic, but now there is an even more obnoxious alarm that has failed to address the security risk.

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