Joan Corcoran ’13 Associate Editor in Chief
Almost three quarters of Merrimack College’s undergraduate students live on campus. Of those students, the majority live in Deegan East, Deegan West, Ash Centre, Monican Centre, and O’Brien Hall.
Students living in these residence halls have now noticed that there are no longer any front desk attendants sitting at the entrance of each building. The front attendants were there to ensure that no unwelcome visitors passed through the doors, and to be there in any case of urgency from a student.
With attendants no longer manning the desk, a sense of freedom has begun to spread throughout the on-campus residents. When asked about the lack of front desk attendants, Maria Russo, a junior living in O’Brien, said, “I just feel like more of 20-year-old.
It made me feel like I was in high school signing out to go to the bathroom. But now I feel a greater sense of freedom, like college is supposed to feel.” Russo’s statement seems to ring true throughout most of campus. Director of Residence Life, Sara Hicks, has a similar statement; “each year we received student feedback that having front desk staff made students feel like we were not treating them like adults.” The school wanted to provide students with a greater sense of freedom.
The college decided to eliminate these positions and focus less on staffing in the residential building and more on providing services in other areas of the campus. Students now have 24/7 access to McQuade Library, the Sakowich Center, and the Fitness Center due to new staffing.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights the RAs can be found at the front desks. With a lack of front desk attendants a question of safety may come into play. When asked if there has been any increased theft or vandalism in the resident halls, Hicks assures us that there has been “no increase in instances of vandalism or theft” and that “for any reported incidents, residents have been found responsible for these violations.” Russo could not agree more. When asked if she felt safe she did not skip a beat before answering “absolutely” then continued, “you can’t get into the building without a MackCard.”