Last week a friend and I decided to explore the new medical building. We went around 4:30 p.m. and it was completely deserted, so we figured we might as well take our time and look around. After the main floor impressed us, we took the stairs up to the second floor—a nice, albeit pretty standard set of halls, lockers, and classrooms.
It was at this point that we were confronted by a girl at her locker: “Just to let you know, you’re not supposed to be on the second floor.” My friend and I looked at each other and were completely taken aback. We asked her if this was because we weren’t medical students, and she replied in the affirmative. (Besides, for whatever reason, she just assumed that we weren’t in her program.) There is something very wrong with this picture. Where is this unwritten rule which forbids students from merely walking around a building, unless you have classes there? I say “unwritten” because we didn’t see signs limiting our freedom anywhere, with the exception of a Students’ Lounge that bears the notice “medical students only”. What makes the second floor of this building any different from the locker-lined hallways of Davis, or the newly furnished classrooms of IB? If a med student doesn’t have a class in the North Building, does that mean he or she can’t ever go in? So why are non-med students supposedly forbidden from looking around this impressive new structure? I understand that the Health Sciences Complex was an extremely expensive undertaking—it cost around $36 million—and that it is necessary to enforce the security of the building, but what I am arguing here is not an issue of security. Students should be able to explore their own campus without feeling like intruders—exactly how I felt when I left the medical building.
I have inquired of Mark Overton, the Dean of Student Affairs, if this is a legitimate rule or if the girl just didn’t want us there. Whether or not her claim is true, what kind of community does that foster on campus?