I’ll never forget how Dr Leonard Sancilio (Dean of Students) summed up Geneseo students. He said that what sets a Geneseo student apart is they will almost always hold the door open for you. I was surprised to learn that this is actually a breach in security. Dr Beth McCoy recognized Geneseo’s reputation for holding the door open, but also pointed out that in the faculty training, they were told not to do this.
It’s conflicting that something the Dean of Students admired could potentially create a dangerous situation. The idea that teachers and students are not supposed to let others into buildings is not exclusive to Geneseo. Jessica mentioned that at her high school they were not allowed to let anyone into the building, even if it was a teacher they recognized. This led me to think about what I would do in that situation. Would I do the morally right thing and hold the door open for someone behind me, or close it in their face for the sake of safety?
I really don’t know the answer to this question. It is second nature to me to hold the door open for the person behind me, but what if that puts me and others at risk? That I even have to consider this disappoints me, but these days you can’t really trust everyone. I have let so many people into the dorm that I don’t recognize, simply because they fit the profile for a college student. However, all that entails is looking relatively young and maybe wearing a backpack. But what if that backpack contains weapons? And how am I to know that the individual isn’t just pretending to be a student? The university has restricted access for a reason, such as safety and accountability, but those are reasons I admittedly tend to dismiss for moral code.
Truth be told, I will likely continue to hold the door open for those I don’t recognize, unless they look extremely suspicious. It makes me uncomfortable that I could potentially let a dangerous person in, but it also makes me uncomfortable to be rude, at least by Geneseo standards. I find comfort in the very low chance that I actually letting a violent person in, but even that chance might not be small enough to rely on. This itself is anxiety-inducing, but I don’t want to live my life driven by fear. However, if Geneseo advises students to stop holding the door open, I will reconsider. As of right now, I am choosing moral code over conduct code.