Trinity Washington University has long forbid campus visitors — especially male ones — after midnight. But that rule is occasionally broken at the historically all-women school. So starting this week, security guards will not allow any cars onto campus between midnight and 6 a.m.
If a student knows she will be returning to campus after midnight, she can arrange to get a special pass ahead of time — or park near the security station and walk onto campus, said Trinity spokeswoman Ann Pauley.
“We’re not imposing a curfew. We’re just being more careful,” Pauley said. “We live in an urban community, and we take the safety and security of our students very seriously.”
Only about 300 of Trinity’s 2,300 students live on campus, Pauley said, so officials go to great lengths to ensure residence halls are quiet and free of the distractions students might have at home or in off-campus housing. Officials decided to bar cars from campus after a few minor incidents, Pauley said, including one in which a guest was on-campus after hours and got into a “loud argument” with a security officer.
“It escalated a bit,” she said. “We are a community of learning, and we’re a community. These are not apartment buildings.”
Ever since students learned about the new policy Monday afternoon, there have been angry comments on Facebook quoting the policy and chatter in the hallways in between class, said Anastasia Adams, vice president of the student government.
“It's somewhat of a curfew,” she said. “On weekends, people want to go out, they want to go to the clubs, and they are going to drive back after midnight.”
Adams said that although she is concerned about safety, she thinks it would be better for the university to employ police officers at night instead of security guards. Adams, who is a senior and lives on campus, said she has recently seen campus rules become stricter.
”They are getting so tight on the rules, people don't want to live on campus,” she said. “We are at the university level. This is not a boarding school.”