By Kourtney Husnick
Reporting by Ben Frederick
Entering the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law building gained an extra step for Cleveland State University students and visitors at the beginning of the spring semester. The Euclid Avenue entrance is now constantly locked, and students must scan their student IDs to enter the building.
With this change, the ground floor fire doors between the law building’s student lounge and the Euclid entrance have also been closed, but they are not locked. These changes took effect Jan. 7.
“These steps are being taken to help ensure the safety of our law school community,” Lee Fisher, dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, explained in an email that went out to the law school.
While Fisher’s email said that the law building and campus have had no major safety issues, another email from Will Dube, Cleveland State’s director of communications and media relations, explained that harassment contributed to the decision.
“We experienced numerous instances in which non-CSU affiliates entered the law building through the Euclid entrance and harassed students in the lounge and locker areas,” the email, which was forwarded by Dube without a clear author labeled, explained. “By converting the Euclid entrance to keycard access only, we hope to reduce these incidents.”
The other entrances to the building will remain unlocked as usual, according to the email.
“The Euclid entrance was identified as the main point of entry for the individuals who were exhibiting harassing behavior,” the email explained. “We will monitor the situation going forward and modify the policy as needed.”
The email also claimed that students were notified ahead of time, via a November 2018 email from Fisher, that the change would occur. However, the original email from Fisher was only sent to the law community, according to Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, the associate dean for administration.
Other Cleveland State students were not made aware of the change with Fisher’s email, regardless of several undergraduate courses occuring in law building lecture halls and the Law Library being open to the entire student body. No answer as to why students, in general, were not informed of the change was provided.
Euclid entrance access changes have also not been updated on the building’s hours listed online.
“There has been no change in building hours; therefore, there has been no update on the website,” the email Dube forwarded to The Cauldron explained.
However, on the Cleveland State website, all buildings that require card access for entry at any point are clearly labeled. The Law Building itself has three card access only listings that differ from Monday through Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
That schedule can be found on the university’s access control webpage under “CSU Building Hours,” which explains that the schedule “represents normal semester building hours when the facility will have full services, including unlocked exterior doors.”
It is also the first link listed for anyone searching for Cleveland State’s building hours through Google, meaning visitors to the university who are not informed ahead of time would not know that the Euclid entrance is locked until arriving at the building’s main entrance.
Fisher’s original email instructed students, faculty and staff to direct their visitors to other entrances or plan to meet guests at the main entrance to let them in. For events, doors can be unlocked temporarily if plans are made in advance.