As The Poly staff hears more complaints from students about the Office of Residence Life’s “gotcha” tags, we would like to comment. Last semester, there were several break-ins in a number of residence halls. The result of these break-ins caused the administration to take a closer look at then current security measures and then made changes.
One of these changes was the introduction of the “gotcha” tags. Public Safety and RAs walk around the halls and check to see if the door is unlocked; if unlocked, they place a bright tag on the outside of the door notifying the resident that they are supposed to lock their door. These bright notices are left up on the doors for everyone to see. Essentially, the “gotcha” tags let everyone else in the hall know which doors were being left unlocked when the residents were away.
Many students have expressed dissatisfaction as to how these “gotcha” tags are being displayed and handled. It’s understandable that a door may be left unlocked every now and then, but to display to others that it was unlocked poses some problems and has left residents unsettled. There are better ways to handle it; instead of placing the notice on the outside of the door, the tag can be slipped under the door or taped to the door on the inside. RAs could visit the residents of the room when they’ve returned and talk about the situation with them. Perhaps an email could be sent to the residents. Any of these options would be a better alternative to the current method.
In the end, however, we feel that it is not solely Public Safety’s responsibility to leave these notices and alert residents about their unlocked doors. The best way to prevent your personal effects from being stolen is be diligent and lock your doors.