All residential students will soon have 24/7 swipe access into the Graduate Center Bear’s Lair as part of a pilot program for this spring, according to Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Koren Bakkegard.
The change comes as a result of efforts by the Undergraduate Council of Students to expand swipe access into various communal spaces on campus, according to UCS Vice President Jason Carroll ’21.
Prior to the change, all students had swipe access to the Bear’s Lair during daytime hours. After 7 p.m., the space was only accessible to those living in the Graduate Center and Vartan Gregorian Quandrangle A and B.
“We want to make swipe access at Brown better because it’ll increase campus accessibility and safety for so many students,” Carroll said.
He added that UCS has received many complaints from students regarding a lack of accessibility of “public spaces” on campus.
“I know from personal experience that just because a building may be locked to you doesn’t mean you can’t get in at all,” Carroll said. By giving more students swipe access to large communal spaces, not including residential buildings, “it’ll probably make (campus) safer. So now if you see someone climbing through a window to get into Keeney gym, you’ll think it is suspicious, rather than the norm.”
In a separate initiative, UCS First-Year Representatives Joon Nam ’23 and Zane Ruzicka ’23, are currently working to expand swipe access to and improve the equipment in the Bigelow Facility.
“We want to eventually give all students 24-hour access to (Bigelow Facility), or at least all students living on south campus, so including Wriston Quad,” Ruzicka said. “We also want to improve (any) broken or rusted equipment in the gym and add a water fountain.” Facilities agreed in February to install a water fountain in the Bigelow Facility, Ruzicka added.
Nam and Ruzicka began their efforts after results from the UCS 2019 Fall Poll revealed that 74.6 percent of student respondents do not have access to the Bigelow Facility. Of those without access, 46.7 percent said that they would use the gym if given access.
No requests for extended swipe access to the Bigelow Facility have been submitted by UCS yet, Bakkegad wrote in an email to The Herald. The request for extended swipe access to the Bear’s Lair was submitted Thursday, Bakkegard added.
Nam and Ruzicka hope that the extended swipe access to the Bigelow Facility will be implemented by the end of this academic year.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that after 6 p.m., the space was only accessible to those living in the Graduate Center and Vartan Gregorian Quandrangle A and B. In fact, after 7 p.m., the space was only accessible to those living in the Graduate Center and Vartan Gregorian Quandrangle A and B. The Herald regrets the error.