Morning Wood: Student body sees surge in slamming doors in fellow students’ faces after crime alert

A drug deal gone wrong has students across campus concerned their dorm may be next

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Morning Wood: Student body sees surge in slamming doors in fellow students’ faces after crime alert

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Umm van Aass, Dutch studies major

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Following a crime alert on campus last Wednesday concerning an assault in a drug deal gone wrong at the University of Massachusetts’ Dwight Hall, students on campus have been on high alert.

In an effort to improve security on campus UMass Residential Life and UMass Police are advising a policy of “one swipe, one entry,” meaning that when students enter residence halls with their UCard they should be the only one to enter the building with that swipe and refrain from activities such as holding or opening doors for others.

Many students across campus from the Southwest Residential Area to the Northeast Residential Area have taken the advice to heart, often to the ire of their friends, neighbors and roommates.

Freshman economics major Connor Cerne was rattled by news of the crime and has since taken action to ensure it doesn’t happen in his own residence hall in the Commonwealth Honors College, Sycamore Hall.

This past Friday as Cerne and his roommate, freshman political science major Noah Worritski, were walking back to their room together from dinner at Hampshire Dining Commons when Cerne swiped his UCard on the card reader. Cerne then proceeded to immediately open the door, enter the lobby of the building and yank the door shut in his roommate’s face to Worritski’s astonishment.

“You know the rules, one swipe, one entry,” Cerne exclaimed as he stared at a bewildered Worritski through the glass window on the door. He then motioned to the card reader and told Worritski he had to swipe his own UCard to enter Sycamore.

Worritski responded, “Come on Connor, we’re roommates, it’s not like I’m bringing drugs or a gun into Syc, this is like the third time this week you’ve done this.”

Fellow Sycamore resident freshman operations and information management major Wyatt Mi, a neighbor to the pair, concurred with Worritski’s description of Cerne’s actions.

“I had just come back from the [residential service desk] and Roots [Café] with a boxed quesadilla in one hand and a package sent by my parents in the other, my hands were full essentially,” said Mi, “That’s when I saw Connor entering Sycamore at the same time I was and I thought to myself ‘Perfect, he’ll hold the door open for me, what a lifesaver.’”

According to Mi as he neared the entryway Cerne had just swiped his card and opened the door when their eyes met. Cerne then proceeded to hurriedly pull the slow-moving automatic door closed with all his might.

“I was so confused,” said Mi who in his haste to catch the door before it closed dropped his perfectly good, freshly-made Roots buffalo chicken quesadilla on the ground where it spilled across the vestibule floor.

“Connor just gave me this distraught, but knowing look, mouthing the words, ‘I’m sorry, one swipe, one entry,’ as he slowly raised his arm to point at the UCard reader,” said Mi.

Cerne explained his actions were justified saying “I was only following the rules, if you can’t and safety isn’t your priority, that’s on you.”

A similar instance happened to sophomore biology major Felicity D’Amico when she visited her friend sophomore English major Mara Ravens at MacKimmie Hall after 8 p.m. Friday evening once residence hall security was set up for the night.

D’Amico recalled, “We had planned earlier in the week to meet Friday night to hang out. So, I showed up outside Mara’s dorm and texted her that I was there and asked if she could open the door and swipe me in as a guest.”

D’Amico revealed the text message Ravens sent in response reading, “Hey, I’m sorry, but if I let you in I have no idea just who might try to sneak in behind you and past desk security in the five seconds the door is open, I just can’t run that risk.”

Baffled by Ravens’s remark, D’Amico called Ravens in an attempt to allay her friend’s concerns and managed to convince her to meet D’Amico at the doorway.

According to D’Amico the two continued to speak over the phone for over 10 minutes with Ravens on the inside of the door staring out to D’Amico through the glass on the outside standing in the cold. D’Amico said she tried to convince her Ravens there was no one behind her, repeatedly moving back and forth and side to side to demonstrate, however to no avail.

This led D’Amico, who described herself as normally “easy-going” person, to snap, calling her friend’s actions “ridiculous” and telling Ravens over the phone to, “Open the f***ing door!”

Ravens then became “irate,” according to D’Amico. Ravens replied over the phone, “How do I know you’re not a drug mule and I’m only acting as an accomplice?”

D’Amico said that after that comment she hung up the phone, walked away and their evening plans were subsequently canceled.

When asked for comment about the surge in door slammings and distrust among the study body Ravens replied, “You always have to be looking over your shoulders nowadays, it’s always the ones you least expect.”

Sue Perez-Orr, a representative of UMass Residential Life, did not indicate whether she explicitly condones the door slammings or certain student’s refusal to open doors to their own friends, neighbors and roommates, but noted that, “Safety is always our top priority we advise students to follow our advice of ‘one swipe, one entry’ however they see fit.”

Umm van Aass can be summoned by tapping your pair of clogs together like the ruby red slippers in the ‘Wizard of Oz.’