MSU to add locks to classroom doors in response to campus shooting

Michigan State University will add locks to more than 1,300 classroom doors by fall, the school announced Wednesday. The announcement is part of a wider plan to improve campus safety after a man opened fire on campus — first in Berkey Hall, an academic building, and then the MSU Union, a student gathering spot — killing three students and injuring five others.

"The actions we are outlining today position us on a path to reclaim our sense of safety that was so violently taken away from our community,” said Interim President Teresa Woodruff. “These steps will provide more robust security on campus while better preparing our community to respond in these unfortunate situations.” Rfid Home Door Lock

MSU to add locks to classroom doors in response to campus shooting

MSU Police Chief Marlon Lynch said during a Feb. 16 news conference the university was in the process of implementing upgrades to its security camera monitoring system at the time of the shooting. The inability to track the shooter in real time on security cameras, combined with the onslaught of calls and reports flooding the emergency management system, contributed to the delay in finding the shooting suspect, Anthony McRae, 43.

Police say McRae walked miles away from campus after carrying out the shooting and fatally shot himself when approached by law enforcement.

More:Michigan Legislature opens debate on gun safety bills following MSU shooting

More:MSU could've locked Union during shooting but didn't. Many class doors can't lock, either.

Here are the steps being taken, as outlined in a note to the campus community:

As is the case at most schools, MSU’s dorms and other residence halls require keycard access to enter. But across its sprawling campus, more than 80 academic buildings are open to the general public whenever class is in session, spokesman Dan Olsen said. That means that during a normal school day before the shooting, Berkey Hall was open to anyone from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Union was typically open from 7 a.m. to midnight. Both buildings are now closed for the rest of the semester.

Olsen said many classroom doors do have locks, but they require a key. Classrooms without door locks are typically larger lecture halls or in older buildings, he said. He did not say how many classroom doors can lock electronically, from the inside or otherwise.

MSU is trying to shrink a five-year security upgrade plan into five or six months, which means the school will need a significant boost in state funding, perhaps as much as $30 million, board Chairwoman Rema Vassar told the Free Press last week. School leaders plan to ask state leaders for more money to help expedite that process, she said.

“We want (students) feeling secure, but not feeling that their freedoms are eroding," Vassar said.

“MSU is such a big, open campus. … Trying to keep that big of a space secure is a challenge. … How do you make sure the public has some element of access, while still being secure? I don’t have a good answer.”

The Free Press last week asked every public, four-year university or college in Michigan about their campus security options. Most responded, and many described having advanced security capacity already in place.

At least Western Michigan, Wayne State, University of Michigan-Flint, Northern Michigan University and Grand Valley State University have the ability to remotely lock down most buildings on campus at the touch of a button. Residence halls at each of these schools always require keycards to enter, as do dorms at Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University.

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor began installing door-locking mechanisms in classrooms and class labs in August 2019, said Melissa Overton, deputy chief of police and public information officer for the university's police department.

MSU to add locks to classroom doors in response to campus shooting

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