Parents Absolutely Outraged That Security Measures Apply to Them As Well


by Natalie Peek

Parents of students visiting for Parent’s Weekend this past weekend were absolutely outraged that the three barrier, two-step verification process of security for the residential buildings on campus applied to them as well. 

Prior to arrival, neighbors and work-friends had been regaled with countless reminders that, “yeah, the security of American University really made us feel safe sending our kids here. It’s urban, but not too urban, ya know? There’s a nice layer of security to make sure that bad people stay out.”

Happy to see the 10x10 living space for which they paid  $5,200 per semester, parents excitedly attempted to enter the building. Parents were shocked to find that pulling harder on a locked door would not, in fact, make it more likely to open, nor make the Desk Receptionist more likely to open the door. 

Upon pulling on the locked door of Anderson/Centennial Hall, parents quickly grew frustrated, throwing up their hands, pointing to the door handle and mouthing “door” to the Desk Receptionist, just in case the student who worked behind the desk hadn’t watched the entire thing unfold, praying the parent would just give up and leave. After their plea to the minimum wage gods hadn’t been answered, the Receptionist opened the door, and braced themselves. 

Arriving at the desk in a huff, shocked and confused parents found out that the security protocol --the very same one that they touted to friends whose children attended Princeton and George Washington -- also applied to them. Indeed, the lanyard (approximate cost of $45 for parent events and BBQ) did not qualify as identification since it only had AU’s logo and an “All-American Weekend” graphic. 

“Why would they have to check me in with my student and verify my identity with a government issued ID? They should know that I’m safe, I’m not a threat. I promised that I’m the parent of a resident in this building, isn’t that enough?” asked parents.

Parents did not respond when asked if Housing and Residence Life should then take every adult’s word as identification.