It’s 2 a.m., Swem is closing, and you still have three more pages of that paper to crank out before tomorrow morning. Tired of the Mews and in need of a comfy couch, you trek over to Alan B. Miller Hall and swipe your ID.
But the red light clicks on, and you are locked out.
Students not enrolled in classes held in Miller are unable to access the building after 10 p.m., at least through next semester.
According to the building’s access policy, only those currently registered for business classes are allowed entrance after 10 p.m., at which time the doors are locked and an approved student ID is required for admission.
Students not taking classes in Miller do not have the approved ID and cannot swipe into the building.
This has sparked a campus-wide debate that has left some students feeling excluded and asking why they cannot access one of their own buildings.
Peter Ross ’10, a business major, supports opening the building to all students.
“As long as you have an ID, you should be allowed in,” Ross said. “Why should I be privileged? I didn’t pay for it any more then anyone else.”
According to Facilities Management, the College contributed $25 million to the construction of Miller, and the remaining $50 million was donated privately through the Business School Foundation. This $25 million is now being collected through fees paid by each student along with regular tuition, whether they register for classes in Miller or not.
European history major Anca Cretu ’11 said she feels slighted by the policy.
“All the other buildings are open to all students,” Cretu said. “Just because this one is fancy and new means that the others just can’t do anything in that building? This is a major discrimination.”
The idea of the policy being “wrong” may have upset many students who are beginning to demand some sort of explanation.
According to Dr. Larry Pulley, Dean of Students for the School of Business, Miller is open to all who wish to use its rooms for study and group meetings, whether they are business students or not.
“We have lounges and team rooms, [and] all that’s open to anybody,” Pulley said. “Anybody can come and plug their laptops in and work together, and we want to support that. People who are taking classes here have access after hours, and people who come in before it closes and they’re here working, they can stay to work.”
Pulley said the policy stems from both technological difficulties and concerns about the effect of heavy traffic on the new building.
“The issues for us are wear-and-tear, congestion, and how all that will work,” Pulley said.
According to Pulley, the security cameras already in place still need to be connected to the William and Mary
Police Department, the card key systems require further programming and the electronic door locks must be tweaked in order to ensure that they lock at the appropriate time.
Pulley said that student fees pose a legitimate question he hopes will be resolved quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.
During this settling-in process, the school has been made available to business students after hours because of their need to access classrooms and study areas in order to complete group assignments and presentations.
The policy is currently considered temporary and will be reviewed at the end of the semester.
Pulley encourages student input regarding the situation and believes that comments from the undergraduate body will help determine whether or not the policy will be changed.