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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Campus

Moody Towers receives upgrades for security


Sliding doors protected by a Cougar Card security swipe have replaced the old entrance doors at Moody Towers. | Julian Jimenez/The Daily Cougar

Opinion among residents at Moody Towers is split concerning the construction of new security measures aimed at stopping unauthorized access into the building.

Anna Weismann, the project manager for the upgrades, said the recently completed construction consists of sealed entrances and new doorways.

Previously, Moody Towers had five entrances — two for each tower and one leading into the commons. Since the upgrade, two of the tower entry points have been converted into emergency exits, two have been turned into storefronts and the main entrance is now protected by a card swipe reader.

“The full upgrade won’t be done until the end of the winter break — that will give us time to load everybody’s Cougar Card into the system,” Weismann said.

“We anticipated having this done earlier, but based on the timing it seems more feasible to have it finished over the winter break. That way, when the students come back, all the security will be in place. It’ll give us time to test it and make sure that they are properly functioning.”

Weismann said the security upgrade came to life as a joint effort aimed at improving student safety.

“It was a discussion between the UH Res life and the VP of the University that there were too many access points into Moody Towers,” she said. “We recognized that there needed to be something done.”

Weismann said there was an increase in the number of security problems that occurred during the summer semester.

She also said that the project may undergo further construction, but the changes depend on the effectiveness of the currently implemented measures.

“We do have a phase two plan in mind, but we want to see how this phase one works, whether we see a decrease in unauthorized access into the building. We’ll take it from there and see what our next steps are,” Weismann said.

According to a report from Administration and Finance Plant Operations, the security upgrades, when completed, will also feature three new security cameras.

Weismann said she hopes the security measures help assuage any student worries concerning living on campus.

“I just hope the students will feel more at ease when this upgrade is completed, and that we can see a decrease in unauthorized access — just make it a better living environment for them.”

Many students agreed with the upgrades. Alyssa Reyes, a psychology freshman living at Moody Towers, said she liked seeing more security because it put the building on par for safety with other residence halls on campus.

“I think it’s really great having to swipe in at the towers because everyone walks in whenever they please. It’s like Cougar Village, where the security is just awesome. I think it’s a really good improvement,” Reyes said.

Other students, however, see the upgrades as an inconvenience. Pre-pharmacy freshman Sinin Allahalih, another resident at the Towers, expressed some frustration with the new entrances.

“I think it’s pointless. People still come in and out. I don’t know why there is a swipe machine next to the doors if they’re automatic.”

Allahalih said she was especially frustrated with the storefront windows that have sealed off some of the entrances.

“This made me really mad,” Allahalih said as she pointed to the now closed North Tower entrance.

“Everyone I know was disappointed with this.”

Still, other residents have simply accepted the changes and moved on.

“I don’t really think it makes a big difference,” said Alexander Dean, a supply chain management freshman.

“I pretty much feel the same way that I did before.”

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