Members of the Michigan Student Assembly and the Residence Hall Association clashed yesterday about revising the access guidelines to the Residence Halls, so that anyone with an M-Card could access the dorms between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Lest we forget: until February 2002, the Residence Halls were open to anybody 8-5. Brimming under the surface of this article is the issue of MSA campaigning: with the elections coming up, I can only assume that members of MSA would like to see access made more lenient to facilitate campaigning.
However, the conflict is something of an irrelevant charade: RHA has even less formal political authority to change policies than MSA, and as the article says “MSA will need the consent of RHA in order for the University’s Housing Board to consider making changes to the current access policies.” Yes, that’s right: they’re fighting over a suggestion. Even if RHA and MSA were in agreement in this one I doubt the policy would change: the University seems happy to react to parent fear by creating a false (because it’s still easy to get in) security culture in the residence halls with locked doors, cameras, and surveillance.