On November 29th, 2012, a student was robbed at gunpoint in the Arts and Letters building at Florida Atlantic University. This had caused a scare in students in music department, especially those who had nowhere else to practice their instruments. Despite their concerns, many students were told that there would be security changes implemented to help them feel safe in the practice rooms. The change included placing a piece of paper in each practice room informing the students that if they felt scared or threatened, they should call the campus police.
Over the summer, a card reader was installed, but not implimented. Individuals were able to go in and out of the practice room area as they pleased, regardless of whether or not they were a music major or not.
324 days from the first incident, on October 19th, 2013, another individual was robbed at knifepoint in the Arts and Letters building. The following Monday after the incident on October 21st, the card reader outside of the practice room was implemented, letting only students who were in the college of music gain access to the practice rooms. Many students felt much safer with this system in place.
On October 22nd, College of Music students recieved an email stating that "Due to police staffing limitations and in order to maximize security in the practice area...police patrols will enforce a curfew of 11:30 pm in the practice rooms." Many music students only have late at night to practice, and many feel that this is the wrong way to go about it.
We, the undersigned, believe that some change to these new regulations should include, but not be limited to:
- Not enforcing a curfew in the practice rooms. While many music students are fine with police officers in the area, a curfew should not be enforced for the welfare of musical students. How would you feel if your upstairs neighbor practiced the trombone at 12:30 in the morning just because they had nowhere else to practice?
- Installing Cameras in the Arts and Letters Building. Many music professors have told music students to keep an eye out for robberies and thefts in the music departmen. The Arts and Letters Building at Florida Atlantic University is one of few that does not have any cameras on each of the floors or the stairwells. The man who robbed the individual at knifepoint is still on the loose and free to do this again. If we had cameras, police might have a better lead on this situation
- Install Locks on the doors to the practice rooms. With an exception for a few rooms, none of the practice rooms have a lock. If a student was able to lock a door behind them, they'd feel much safer, and if for some reason they felt threatened, they would be able to stay in the locked room, and call for help. Without locked doors, students do not feel safe.
We need reform, but the current system in place is not the right approach for the welfare of musical students, the College of Arts and Letters, and more importantly, Florida Atlantic University.