Locked out: UMW Students’ frustration post-Thanksgiving break
By ANDREW ARENAS
After a relaxing Thanksgiving break, I knew on Sunday I would have to leave as early as possible from home to beat heavy traffic when heading back to school. The American Automobile Association stated that more travelers would be on the road than there had in the last nine years. After my parents heard that statistic, they decided to drop me off as early as they could.
I arrived to my residence hall, Arrington, at 9 a.m. With my baggage in hand, I walked up to the door and pressed my Eagle One card to the reader. The reader flashed red and refused to unlock. It became apparent that my card wasn’t working I waited in desperation for someone to come out of the door to let me in, but after standing for 15 minutes I grew impatient. I sat on a bench nearby and listened to music while examining just how dead the campus was. As time went on I grew anxious and watched that second-floor entrance like a hawk.
At 9:45 I watched from the bench as someone else was getting dropped off. I waited to see if somehow his card would magically unlock this door. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. He had the same dissatisfied look that I had upon learning we both couldn’t get into the building. His name was Ashton Ledbetter, a sophomore, psychology major. We both sat on the bench socializing, and waiting for anyone to exit Arrington. I learned that he lives on the same floor as I do, and we decided to contact our RA Nancy Pham to see if she could get someone to open the door for us.
Thirty minutes later we got a response letting us know we weren’t allowed in until 2 p.m. Since both Ledbetter and I had been waiting for so long, Pham contacted one of the RAs from Alvey to finally let us in. By the time I was situated in my room, I had to wait almost two and a half hours to get into Arrington.
Beating the traffic to get back on campus didn’t seem to benefit me at all. It’s very strange that these two residence halls specifically aren’t open at a reasonable time. Eagle Landing allowed students to come back whenever they wanted with ease. I know they have a different set of rules, but it would be nice if Alvey and Arrington were both accessible at a reasonable time.
Some of us do our best to beat the post-Thanksgiving traffic when we leave our homes from break. Leaving home to get locked out of my own residence hall wasn’t the reward I was looking for. Yes, the times to return are listed on the break housing section of UMW’s website, but I feel these times should be altered. I hope someday these buildings will be accessible at an earlier time on the day before classes. As an A-Town resident, it seems there is no benefit to getting here early on the last day of Thanksgiving break.