Regenstein to receive electronic security-card system

Ben Figa

Keeping in tune with security concerns, School of Music officials have announced they will install a Marlok security system in Regenstein Hall next year.

The system will be similar to the electronic one installed this year at the Music Practice Hall, also known as the Beehive. Unlike the Marlok key system used in many dorms, the Regenstein system will require authorized users to scan their WildCARDs or a substitute university-issued card in order to gain admittance to the building.

“The primary focus is to provide a safe environment for our students practicing until late hours,” said Rene Machado, associate dean for administration and finance of the music school. “The beauty of the system is that it allows us to restrict and allow more access when necessary.”

Regenstein will remain open during business hours and the restrictions will occur mostly at night, according to Machado. He estimates the project will cost Northwestern about $40,000.

Music students and faculty lobbied for increases in security at Regenstein after hearing reports of unauthorized entry and of an assault on an NU student that took place in October 2001 on the Lakefill near Regenstein.

“Sometimes my friends would tell me there was a homeless person sleeping there,” said Peter Lawson, a Music and Weinberg junior and member of the school’s student advisory board. “People have gotten items stolen out of the practice rooms as well.”

Teresa Suen, a Music graduate student, said she saw a homeless man sleeping in Regenstein over Winter Break and said she supports the idea of increased security.

“It’s really dangerous here, especially during the holidays,” she said. “Only NU students should use NU property.”

The restriction of practice rooms also will keep spaces open to authorized users, Machado said. Music students sometimes have difficulty finding practice spaces because non-Music students are using the rooms.

“One of the main reasons (for the security system) is there is such a shortage of practice rooms,” said Tom Parisi, a Music and Weinberg junior. “It makes sure that people who need the rooms will be able to use them.”

But some said all NU students should have the same rights to practice spaces.

“If you want to practice and you’re not in the School of Music, then you cannot get in,” said Mike Maier, a Music freshman. “It’s not fair to students who are in (another school) and in a band who want to practice.”

Machado said non-majors will be able to apply for practice room access, even though the majority of spaces will go to music majors.

Although many students were happy about the security measures, others said they were worried about inconveniences the new system might pose.

“I don’t like the Beehive Marlok,” said Ben Walsh, a Music sophomore. “If you forget your ID, you have to go back to your dorm, though I guess it does keep bad people out.”