Battening Down the Hatches

HBS officials and members of the SA Senate have agreed on a plan to improve security in campus buildings by restricting entry to the Spangler Center to HBS ID-holders after 9 p.m. In addition, most of the doors to Aldrich, which are not equipped with card-activated locks, will be locked by that hour as well, requiring students to access the building through Spangler and the campus tunnel system.

“Any door that can be locked earlier adds security … but there are two things at odds: convenience versus security,” said HBS Director of Administrative Services Robert Breslow. “Do we want the convenience of being able to cut through Aldrich, or the security of being able to lock Aldrich?”

Breslow said he has relied on the student input to help him figure out where that balance lies.

OF Senator Kyra Danilchick, chair of the Senate’s student services committee who was a key contact with Breslow through the planning process, said the changes in security policies were not a reaction to any specific threats against the HBS community.

“That’s definitely not the case,” she said. “This is part of a general review of security to make some improvements that are probably long overdue.”

But the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 did put new momentum behind the review, Breslow said.

“This is all I’ve been working on since then,” he said.

Breslow said he is already comfortable with the level of security within the tunnel system, noting that there are police call boxes located throughout the corridors, spaced so that a person walking through is never out of sight of one of them. In addition, with two exceptions, none of the dormitories can be accessed without another card swipe — and plans are afoot to replace those doors.

Another important consideration is fire safety, and he said the number of exits is in accordance with all building codes.

Although a door between Baker Library and the residential buildings is equipped to require a swipe of an HBS ID for access, Breslow said students will not find themselves in the same position as Maxwell Smart in the 60s TV series “Get Smart,” where the secret agent was forced to pass through dozens of doors to get to his office.