Students entering Paley Library reach for their wallets, dig inside their pockets and look through their school bags searching for the ticket to enter.
Frequent users of the library know the process and generally respect the safety that the process guarantees.
Shown a Temple student identification, a security guard allows students to enter without a problem.
But just on the other side of Paley, students file in through the new Tuttleman Learning Center, past one security guard behind the main desk and then another guard as they enter the computer lab.
As students pass the two desks empty-handed, they enter without a problem.
The main difference between the two connecting buildings is that one requires identification to enter while the other does not.
Throughout the Temple campus, the same inconsistency in ID checking is evident. While Rock Hall is highly regulated by security guards who usually enforce the identification rule, Wachman Hall is not.
Walking into Annenberg Hall is often easier than walking into the McDonalds, Pearson Hall is harder to get into than going to a bar underage, and students are aware of this problem.
“So far, buildings besides Rock Hall and Paley Library never check for my,” said junior Haley Kim. “Like in Anderson Hall, I hardly see anyone there, let alone checking ID
Security on Temple’s campus is a concern for resident students and commuters, and the inconsistencies in ID checking raise safety questions.
“The security guards always check my ID going into my dorm, but when I enter most buildings for class, guards hardly ever check, which makes me feel unsafe,” said sophomore Elaine Chalmers.
Why are some buildings strict on requiring ID to enter and others not? Deputy Director of Temple Security Charlie Leone explained, “It depends on the building and the area in which the building is located.”
And according to SpectraGuard Account Manager Jeffery Hester, “All buildings are very strict on looking for IDs.”
But many students have a security experience very different from that described by Hester.
“I just do not think people should be paid to sit there and do nothing,” said sophomore Dawn Peacock. “Having no one at all would be just as effective. At least if they are going to sit there, make them check my ID.”
According to Temple officials, what students do not see is the protection that is not necessarily standing at the door.
“Management of campus security has many different facets,” said Dean of Students Jim Fitzsimmons. “There are bike teams around buildings, rovers and undercover officers inside buildings in addition to the security at the door.”
Three different types of security guards work for the university: Temple security guards, student-representative guards and SpectraGuards from a private company with which Temple has a contract.
According to Leone, Temple security guards are put through a three-week training program. Learning skills such as first aid, CPR, fire evacuation and handling student problems, guards are prepared for most situations, Leone said.
This required training makes security guards valuable in campus buildings even if they are not always checking IDs, according to Leone.
The question remains whether an effective increase in preventive ID checking would reduce the need for such emergency-response measures.
In many cases, buildings are tightly secured because of the equipment inside. For example, at the second-floor Writing Center in Tuttleman students are required to swipe their IDs before entering the computer lab. They must follow the same procedure for the computer lab in Wachman Hall, where a large sign warns students before they enter: “A validated Temple ID is required for admission to this facility.”
Computer Services workers, who are not Temple security employees, make sure to check every student.
Zorita Dorsey, a student Computer Service worker, said that safety isn’t the only reason she and her co-workers check IDs.
“We check not only for safety reasons but because this is a general computing lab,” Dorsey said. “Only Temple students should be allowed to use the computers we offer.”
Besides computer labs, campus dorms are among the well-secured areas. Usually, two security guards are stationed at every dorm on Temple’s campus. By using a swipe machine, security guards enforce the policy of checking IDs.
“I live in Temple Towers and they are always checking my ID and most of them even know me from coming and going so much,” said junior Jackie Ridge.
Because of these security guards’ compliance with university policy, students living in the dorms perceive a safe experience – unlike some perceptions of other campus buildings where guards are less attentive to the ID policy.
Temple security is attempting to make the campus stay safe, Leone said.
“We work with all building coordinators to best provide safety for students on campus,” he said.
Yet with unmanned security booths at many places around campus, some students still feel unsafe at Temple.