If you have ventured out of the residential halls beyond 9pm, you would have noticed Access Control manning the entrances. We sat down and spoke with Matt Long, an Access Control staff member about his work, school and The Hill. The 4th year majors in Classics and minors in Digital Humanities gives us an insight to the world of access control and what goes on behind the access control desks.
What’s the work like?
Access control is one of my favorite jobs. There’s a nice balance where there’s a lot of down time where you stay in the building making sure nothing goes on – so just the fact that we prevent 95% of all crimes that could be possibly committed. You can also study on the job, as long as you’re attentive.
Is it true that drunk people try to run past access control?
Yeah, we get the occasional runner. We actually take this really seriously… If someone goes up without swiping then we have no way knowing who they are. There have been issues in the past where access control has prevented people from going up who then caused issues later on, so if they had gone up to the dorms who knows what kind of problems they would have caused.
What if someone incredibly strong tried to get into the building?
The first thing is I’ll be nice. I never want to make a situation hostile and a lot of times people just don’t know the policy. However, if they ignore me and keep running, general protocol is that if they go for the stairs, there’s not much we can do since we can’t leave the post, so what we do is notify the manager and give them a description of the person and then notify dispatch and also notify UCPD of the situation. But there’s no one set of what happens where we’ll do X, Y, and Z.
What are some interesting access monitor stories?
One of my first nights of work I had just gotten off at the time. A very large gentleman walks into the dorm carrying this girl who was obviously extremely inebriated to the point where she was completely unresponsive. So he walks up to us with her on his shoulder, and the guy says to the access monitor, “We’re good” and he walks past. And the access monitor is like, “No, excuse me sir we’re not good” and makes him set her down to see what kind of state she’s in. The monitor notifies his supervisor and EMS, so the man decides the best way to do is just to leave. He drags her out of Sproul, and only makes it as far as the tables outside of Bcafe and ends up propping her on top of a table, where EMS eventually came and treated her.
What’s your favorite part of living on the hill?
My favorite part of living on the hill was my freshman year in Dykstra. D8 was probably one of the funnest experiences. Everyone was so social and so nice – I think ti was because everyone says living in the dorms is one of the most social situations ever. And so everyone went out of their way – because of the hype — to make it like that.
Favorite dining hall?
Is there something you want to see on the hill?
I wish there was a gym on the hill for students so students didn’t have to walk all the way to Wooden. I also think there needs to be better alcohol education. There’s been so many freshman who have come in way too intoxicated who don’t understand how to drink responsibly. It would just be solved if everyone knew when to stop drinking.
Interview by Jerry Cheung