Save Pearson building main entrance

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UCL 'Estates' has recently decided to close the main entrance of the Geography Pearson Building on 13th October in order to save the money spent on keeping the entrance attendant, Max. Max has been a lovely face around the Geography department, having looked after Geography staff and students for years and having done a fantastic job in greeting visitors with a warming smile as well as maintaining the security of Pearson Building. A lot of Geography staff and students, including myself feel that this is a highly unjustified decision.

I hereby highlight the inconvenience and disadvantages of removing Max and hence closing the Pearson Entrance, as mentioned by many UCL Geography Professors in their emails:

1) Admin issues and extra spending - Currently 140 NERC DTP students from 9 Institutions from around the University have access to their common room in the Pearson entrance without need for a swipe card. By removing Max it will mean that new badges and access privileges will have to be granted to over 120 students from 8 different institutions - to maintain our London wide doctoral collaboration and co-ordination. 

2) Security issues - Without Max, it becomes easy for those with bad intentions to break in Pearson building to steal expensive items (which would have to be replaced, the cost of which should easily exceed the amount spent on keeping Max). Max has, on a number of occasions, assisted in tracking down individuals who have had no business being in the building and who were suspected, following some break-ins, of “casing the joint”. The Department has already in the past suffered from major break-ins in a previous building some of the professors were based in, which had tremendous implications for teaching and research as well as morale. 

3) Image of UCL and the Geography Department - Closing the Pearson Entrance can give off a wrong impression to visitors that UCL, a £1.3 billion institution, is an unwelcoming, parsimonious institution despite being the 7th best university in the world and 'London's Global University' (with a Geography Department that is one of the top 10 in the world, according to QS Rankings). 

Concerning the issues raised above, we would like to ask the 'Estates' to seriously consider reversing the decision and hopefully be able to understand the value of Max and the Pearson Entrance to UCL staff and students.



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