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It used to be that a PENNcard was a student's passport to any campus dormitory any time of day or night. Not anymore. Under a new policy designed "to provide an extra measure of security," only residents have access to their dorms during early morning hours, Residential Living Director Gigi Simeone said last week. The restrictions, which Residential Living implemented at the start of the school year, are in effect weekdays from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., and from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, Simeone said. During those hours, card readers at each dorm are programmed to reject PENNcards of non-residents. As a result, those students must be signed in by the resident they are visiting before being allowed in. Prior to the change, the outer door of each High Rise was locked after a certain time each night. But Simeone said that once non-residents got inside -- often by waiting for a resident to unlock it -- they had "open access" to the building. Simeone said a number of students had told Residential Living that they did not feel comfortable with non-residents in their dorms "at all hours of the night," and others complained about early morning noise possibly caused by non-residents. She acknowledged that the new policy may be inconvenient for residents, who now must sign in after-hours guests, but said that "we thought the advantages outweighed the inconveniences." "Our assumption is also that the hours we've chosen are sufficiently late at night that it's not something that would provide a huge inconvenience to students," she added. College sophomore Bobbie Guerra, who lives in the Quadrangle, said last week that she likes the restricted access and added that her friends are "pretty much for it." "Last year I remember hearing that people got into the residences and caused some problems," Guerra said. "We wouldn't have those problems if [non-residents] weren't allowed in." But some students said the restricted access was not worth the annoyance it causes, especially for residents of the Quad or the High Rises, who often live a long walk or elevator ride from the main desk. "It's a bother to go down and sign [friends] in," said College junior Kristin Berry, who lives in High Rise South. "If you pay $22,000 and have an ID, you should be able to go anywhere you want." Tim Monaco, head resident of High Rise East, said he favors the new policy because non-residents who might be "potential problems" are kept out and, as a result, the dorm's residents feel safer and "more unified." But Monaco added that he has heard little feedback from students, either for or against the restricted access. (CUT LINE) Please see DORMS, page 5 DORMS, from page 1

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