Peepholes to be installed into residence hall doors

Peepholes+are+set+to+be+installed+in+every+dorm+room+at+Linfield+%28Flickr%29.

Peepholes are set to be installed in every dorm room at Linfield (Flickr).

Anna Frazier, Copyeditor

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Linfield University dorms are set to receive a safety upgrade at the end of the spring 2021 semester—peep holes in the interior doors of dorm rooms in every residence hall. 

Emma Campbell, a freshman in Miller Hall, came up with the idea within her first semester. “I was very surprised that the dorm room doors don’t already have peep holes installed like hotel doors do,” Campbell said. 

When there aren’t COVID restrictions in place, students can access any residence hall during the day with their keycard. This year, due to COVID concerns, student keycards only give access to academic buildings and their own residence. 

Campbell came up with the idea after finding out that, in normal years, students can easily access other halls. “Safety has always been a very important thing for me,” she said. “And I saw a big safety concern.”

Campbell is a member of the Associated Students of Linfield University (ASLU) Senate, and presented her idea to the other senators at a November meeting. It quickly gained support of the group and was sent to the school administration to get a price estimate for the project. 

Most on-campus apartment units already have peepholes, but a few did not. Over winter break, peepholes were installed by Facilities into the apartments that needed them.

At a Senate meeting in January, ASLU vice president Michayla Sponsel reported that the price estimate for installing peepholes into 496 residence hall doors would be just over $12,000. 

“It seems like it would be super easy to just go to Lowe’s, buy a few peepholes, and put them in—but there’s a lot more than that to it,” said Sponsel. Peepholes have to meet fire codes, and the school needed an accurate estimate for how much time they would need to pay contractors for the work.

Residence Life offered to pay $4,000 and asked ASLU to cover another $4,000 of the total cost. ASLU’s budget is collected from student body fees and is used for improvement projects, activities, and events. 

Sponsel said the Senate unanimously agreed to use $4,000 from their budget to help finance the peephole project. 

“Since it’s something that’s going to benefit the students, not just now but in the long run, paying for it with student money would make sense if we need to,” Sponsel said. “Because I think that it is something that will make dorm rooms a lot safer in general and makes students feel more at ease.”

The final $4,000 will be covered by the school administration. Jeff McKay, Dean of Students, said instead of hiring outside contractors, the school is looking at creating work-study positions for students to install peepholes. This may end up lowering the overall costs of the project.

Installation of peepholes into dorm room doors is estimated to begin in June of 2021 once students leave for the summer.