SNHU students living on the west side of campus – particularly in Washington or the Townhouses, may be very familiar with “The Gate,” located between the Hospitality building and the Green Space. Policy surrounding when this gate is open and closed, however, seems to be less well-known.
“I would guess it closes at 11:30 [p.m.],” said Jamie Griffin (‘19).
“10 o’clock… question mark?” said Evan Wolz (‘19).
“8 p.m.?” said Tirron Pierce (‘21).
Executive Director of Public Safety, Jim Winn, shared that this gate typically closes each night around 11 p.m. to create only one point of access onto West Side, but closing it can be affected by many different factors.
“For example,” Winn said, “sometimes when we’re doing snow removal operations, facilities may ask us to keep the gate open longer for them to have easier access in or out. Another thing is, if there’s an event on campus, we may keep it open a little later. Probably the thing that impacts us closing the gate at 11 [p.m.] most is other occurrences that may be happening on campus. If we’re busy handling calls or service for students, closing the gate at 11 [p.m.] will slide lower down the priority pole, so it may be later in the night before we get to it.”
The gate’s closing and opening does not only affect Public Safety; it affects those living on that side of campus.
“It’s a real entrance to campus for the people who live in that area, and it’s a more central location as well. The other entrance by Athletics is located on an end, where [this] gate feels more in middle,” said Harry Ames (‘20). “I know my friends in Washington always get really frustrated when it’s closed late at night and they just want to get back.”
While some students are concerned with the timing of the gate’s closing, others have concerns about the policy in general. “I personally don’t understand why it’s ever closed,” said Wolz.
When asked why creating “one point of access” is important, Winn explained why this has not been a concern or change for the east side of campus, which is more open and does have more entrances.
“As the campus has evolved things are different than they used to be. For example, years ago, when we first started building residence halls on East Side, because the campus is much more open, one of the things that we did was to make sure that we beefed up the security features on in terms of camera coverage and putting another public safety office on the East side of campus [in Hampton].”
Moving forward, Winn recognizes that many things on campus, particularly in close proximity to the gate, will be changing in the near future.
Cranmore and Sunapee are being torn down to begin construction on the new College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics (CETA) building, Kingston will be opening in the fall of 2019 and the Washington parking lot will become home to another green space.
With these changes, Winn said, “One of the things we’re talking about… is how do we create better roadways on West Side of campus so that we have a better interior roadway.”