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Doors to Whitman residential buildings temporarily locked due to card reader trouble

gray stone building with triangular roofs behind a courtyard with green grass under an overcast sky
Whitman Hall.
Ryland Graham / The Daily Princetonian

On the evening of Nov. 1, residents of Whitman College found themselves locked out of their buildings as proxes were temporarily unable to open doors into the building. According to University Spokesperson Ahmad Rizvi, the temporary lack of access to the building was caused by “trouble with a component of the card reader system.” 

This temporary lack of access to Whitman’s residential spaces is part of a series of unfortunate incidents at the residential college buildings this semester, including a fire in Whitman, a tree falling on Edwards Hall, and sewer problems in Holder and Henry Hall


In an email to The Daily Princetonian, Rizvi wrote that “the issue was quickly resolved by Site Protection 24/7 Team members,” which includes members of the University’s facilities team.   

Students reported varying experiences with PSAFE officers in the Whitman area. Hayk Yengibaryan ’26, who tried to enter Fisher Hall told the ‘Prince’ that he saw PSAFE officers outside of Whitman not helping students. 

“PSAFE was completely ignoring us. The PSAFE response time was ridiculous, to say the least, and disappointing,” he said. 

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate Sports editor for the ‘Prince.’

Tomoka Ohmori ’27 expressed a different sentiment in an interview with the ‘Prince.’

“I went to a door for Lauritzen Hall and PSAFE was standing there while holding the door open and checking our prox cards.  I didn’t see any other people locked out because I smoothly went inside,” Ohmori said.


Ruoming Shen ’27 said in an interview with the ‘Prince’ that she saw adults trying to enter the building. 

“I’m not sure if it was a PSAFE officer or just a facilities worker trying to fix the doors — either way, he tried opening the door to Community Hall, but it didn’t work,” she said. “There were two PSAFE officers near the entrance to the library and they told us that they were getting somebody to fix the doors soon.”  

Yengibaryan expressed his frustration with the situation, stating that the University took 40 minutes to resolve the issue.

“The fact that the University could leave its students stranded is ridiculous, in my opinion,” he said.  “People could’ve had tests the next day and they could’ve been locked out.”  

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Students confirmed that the problem was restricted to only students outside the building trying to enter Whitman. Students already inside could use all internal doors normally and open doors to students outside.  

Shen reported seeing all of the card readers light up red upon entering the courtyard, and eventually finding that the one of the doors to 1981 Hall was the only one that opened. Shen said that she did not know why only one door was still working.  

According to all three students interviewed, Whitman doors were functioning normally by the next morning. 

Meghana Veldhuis is a News contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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