An immovable obstacle keeps many students from their regular commute: the first entrance/exit on Route 586 at the edge of campus has been closed.
MVNU administrators have decided to permanently close the guard-post entrance and reroute all traffic through the new main entrance by the Lakeholm building.
Closing this entrance/exit was not a rash decision, but has been part of the University’s master plan for some time, Vice President of University Advancement Scott Peterson said.
The new traffic pattern is meant to make the campus more visually appealing as all visitors are now greeted by the eternal flame and open quad rather than brown buildings and empty parking lots.
Though administration is excited about the new strategy, students are not so enthusiastic. While the new main entrance is only 300 or so yards past the old one, students preferred the simplicity of the old entrance, which led straight back to the campus housing areas.
Students also have wondered about the effect on campus security.
Peterson assured students that the new traffic flow will not change campus security. Security cameras and regular campus patrols will continue at MVNU.
“We still have officers on campus, and while we have used the guard shack in previous years, the campus has always been open to the public,” Peterson said.
Questions regarding freshman curfew also have surfaced. In previous years, all students were required to scan in after freshman curfew. Now, without the guard shack, this is no longer required.
Interim Co-Dean of Students Tim Radcliffe said, “While freshmen returning after curfew no longer have to scan at the entrance, they still have to scan to get into their residence halls.”
But, as many students have discovered, it only takes one ID to allow a number of students entry into dorm buildings past curfew.
Closing the old entrance has also led to rumors that the new, rebuilt entrance is too narrow to accommodate emergency vehicles, presenting a safety risk to students, faculty and staff.
But, thanks to Peterson and the Mount Vernon Fire Department, this rumor has been debunked. As some students have already witnessed, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles have not encountered any problems entering campus.
According to Peterson, the guard-post entrance will still be open for special events such as move-in day and commencement.