Ole Miss has gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of its on-campus residents. University police patrol campus 24 hours a day, interior and exterior card scanners are used to gain access to every residence hall, and 24-hour front desk monitors are in place to check guests in and ensure no unauthorized guests are in the buildings after curfew.
All SEC schools are required to follow most of the same protocol. Ole Miss, however, is one of the few that chooses to strictly enforce the regulations.
Jennifer McClure, assistant director of marketing of the Student Housing Department for the University, said that although the Institution of Higher Learning requires them to have certain rules, “most of the security decisions are made by the university.”
Ole Miss senior, David Tanner said he wishes some things would change.
“When I’d go stay with my friends at Alabama, they didn’t even have a front desk,” he said. “All my friends had to do was scan their card to get in. It was a lot nicer. I wish it was like that here.”
Some students feel that many of the policies that are being enforced are more about control than safety. UM student Savannah Johnson believes some of the rules are too strict.
“As freshman, we get a certain amount of freedom away from our parents,” she said. “I feel like they’re trying to control us, which is unfair because I want to experience new things as an adult .. It’s like they’re limiting us.”
Former Stockard Hall resident Griffin Clark, said some of the polices make some on-campus residents feel like “we’re still high school students.”
UM student Lauren Lawson said she likes the housing rules that are in place. “I would definitely take away the guest restrictions though,” she said. “I don’t feel like it’s helpful. It makes it hard to transition into being a responsible adult.”
New security innovations, such as interior ID scanners on all dorm room doors, put Ole Miss, “… a step ahead of our peers in security innovations,” said McClure, a UM graduate who recalls front desk monitors when she was a student. “They weren’t 24/7,” she said. “We also had the same exterior card entry.”
More independent housing options are available for students, such as Northgate and Campus Walk Apartments. Both Northgate and Campus Walk lack a guest check-in policy. However, visitation hours still apply.
Housing regulations are posted on the Ole Miss Housing Department web page. Some students have suggested that UM change their policy to allow 24-hour visitation and add a security guard to patrol 24/7 in order to maintain a safe living environment.
Matt Bell, a Mississippi State graduate who has never attended the University of Mississippi, said policies in the residence halls affected his decision about where to attend college. “I stayed off campus every time I came here because I didn’t want to deal with all those rules,” he said.