A new policy was put in place on April 16 requiring students to present their StagCard when entering the DiMenna Nyselius Library. In the past, students were freely able to enter the library without their StagCard to grant them admission. On Fairfield University’s campus, most places require students to present proof of identification prior to entering or using the facility. These places include the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex, the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, the mailroom, all dorm buildings, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts and the computer lab inside the library. I believe that students who find this simple new policy a nuisance should consider the safety reasons of the policy before being annoyed that they left their identification at home.

Students might be used to the luxury of not having to present their StagCard at the library, so it may be found as an annoyance to them. Because so many popular spots require identification, the new policy for the library should not come to a surprise to students. With this said, many students should typically already have their StagCard on them at all times due to the high number of facilities on campus that require it to be presented.

Although the rule came into effect rather suddenly to some students, the policy had been in the works for some time. The approval of the policy came just two months after an uncomfortable incident occurred at the library for three first-year female students. In February, there was a suspicious unidentified man who seemed to be taking photos and/or recording the working students. After the students reported the incident, the new initiative for requiring identification in the library became of utmost importance. The library is open to the general public, which could explain why presenting a StagCard wasn’t always required.

The new routine policy requires students to scan their StagCard at the welcome desk to the left of the library prior to entering. It may take all of one minute or less to stop by and scan your StagCard. Since the swipe-in area is past the lobby and in the entry of the library, students must re-swipe their StagCard each time they exit to use the lobby or the Starbucks. With this in mind, students should carry their StagCards with them to the Starbucks and library lobby for re-entrance. While this new routine may take some getting used to, the supervision of each individual that enters the library is at top priority.

The safety concerns simply outweigh the nuisance of being required to present your StagCard. It allows the library to keep track of who exactly is in the building, keeping it as safe as possible, while also teaching students the importance of responsibility and carrying identification with them at all times. If a student forgets their identification once, chances are they won’t forget it a second time due to the inconvenience it caused the first time around. It is important to always carry identification with you no matter where you are on campus or even in town.

The library is quickly approaching one of its busiest times of the year: finals season. Finals add an extreme amount of stress and pressure on students, and many of them begin to hunker down in the library to prepare. With the amount of traffic in and out of the library each day and night, requiring proof of identification secures the safety of all students, especially during this upcoming busy time of the year.

It makes the most sense to require students to present their identification when entering the library. Although Fairfield University is an extremely safe and closely monitored campus, why risk students’ safety by not requiring proof of identification? In a perfect world, everyone could be trusted for having the right intentions. However, after the incident in February, the mandated check-ins in other buildings and the simplicity of the new protocol make the most sense for guaranteeing safety for all.

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