Staff Writer: Madelyn Cherry
Students, which is the most important to you, is it your safety or your privacy?
On a college campus, students want to feel safe. In order to have the security of being in a safe environment, the privacy of the students has no choice but to be compromised. When there are so many people piled into one living space, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone complies with the rules of the University, which makes it mandatory that Wingate University does random “health and safety checks.”
Wingate University strives to provide a safe environment for both students and faculty. One of the ways Wingate does this is by keeping the dorm rooms free of hazards. Random “health and safety checks” are done to prevent students from having any items that could be considered a fire hazard or dangerous to the well being of the student.
“Most commonly, we find items that go against fire code. Candles that show evidence of being burnt, wax melters, and things that include hot plates like coffee pots, irons, and some air fryers,” said Garrett Elder, Resident Assistant in JM Residence Hall.
Although the goal is never to get a student in trouble, if the student does violate the rules, they will be documented. These health and safety checks happen at random times, so the students never know when their rooms will be checked. When the checks occur, every room on campus is searched. Before entering the space, the staff policy is to knock and announce themselves prior to entering the space.
“The Wingate Student Handbook provides additional information about what is prohibited in the halls. The student handbook also states: Residence Life staff may conduct monthly Health and Safety Checks in all residential spaces to educate residents on said expectations for residential living,” said Jessica Head, Associate Director of Residence Life at Wingate University.
Although students are made aware of the random health and safety checks, they never fail to be surprised when they have someone barge into their space.
“My feelings towards random room checks are fine, I don’t mind that at all,” Johnny Caponi said. “However, my experience was crazy. When I walked into my room I knew everyone was still in the locker room after practice, so I thought someone was trying to steal my stuff!”
Because Wingate University is a private institution, they have the right to create their own rules as long as they are laid out in the Handbook. The random “health and safety checks” are explained further in the handbook on the Wingate University website. For more information about residential living expectations, click here (residential living starts on page 12).