What's the Buzz on Buzzing Out?

 Madeline Cohen

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Since the school year began, members of the Latin community have been instructed to badge in and out every time they enter or leave the building. Nearly everyone has done so in the mornings, the front desk (with its many scanners) being practically unavoidable. The same has not held true for badging out, however, as people frequently forget, or simply decline to scan their IDs on the way out to lunch, or at the end of the day. In the past, we’ve been able to get away with skipping the scanner, with only the occasional reminder from the staff behind the front desk. This has all changed. With the badging out policy becoming much more strictly monitored, the security has seemingly increased. Security personnel have even begun to stand out in the loggia, a fact which many students have found to be intimidating or, at times, annoying.

The truth is, security has not increased at all.

“What you are seeing demonstrated is a level of proactiveness that is being deployed to curtail possible problematic events in the school,” said Mr. Julian Rice, Latin’s security manager.

Many people are unaware of the purpose of badging in or out. It is actually simple and quite logical, even though many of us have never been directly told. Badging in and out is a safety initiative created to be able to provide first responders with information regarding the building’s occupants. In the instance of a fire or another emergency, the school would easily be able to determine who was in the building and who was out. This means that, should someone leave and forget to badge out, the school would still believe them to be in the building. In the case of an emergency situation, this could be a dangerous problem. We students are privileged enough to have an open campus—but, with privilege comes great responsibility. Latin just needs to be able to keep track of when we come and go, and the badging system aims to do just that. But if this system has been in place for a while, why the sudden strictness?

“This procedure has been in place since the system’s implementation. In an effort to provide a safer environment, we are seeking to increase compliance to this policy,” said Mr. Rice.

Latin’s security has routinely discussed ways of making the badging in/out process more effective, and has recently had team members of traffic, security, and reception on board to enforce the rules for both students and faculty. There are now that many more eyes to watch us and to make sure we’re all doing what we should– and it’s working. People are slowly becoming more conscious of their habits as they enter and leave the building.

Scanning an ID literally takes a second, but it has the potential to keep us secure. Instead of wondering why the process is suddenly much stricter, maybe we should wonder why it wasn’t before. This change clearly is beneficial and is raising awareness about the importance of badging in and out – even if it can be perceived as a bit overbearing or intimidating at times. This is just one simple step to making Latin an even safer community.