Inconsistencies main problem of Fine Arts security



At approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday, about a week after the second break-in in the Fine Arts Building, the building door facing Rose Street was propped open, and the entrance facing the Singletary Center was unlocked.

The College of Fine Arts uses a 24-hour security system, and the building is locked at 10 p.m. every day, according to the college’s Web site. If students need access to the building after hours, they can have their ID card added to a swiping system allowing them access to the doors facing the Singletary Center.

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe could not be reached for comment.

Arts administration and art history junior Eli Gross’ viola was stolen during the first break-in a few weeks ago. Gross said since then she has not heard anything from the administration about security improvements.

“What I think is funny is the students don’t seem to care, because two days in a row the students have tried to prop the door open,” she said. “So I thought that was an interesting reaction to the break-in.”

Gross said students need to be more conscious of who they let into the building.

Geraldine Maschio, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, said the administration has put in a work order to upgrade and improve the swiping system but did not know for certain when the upgrade would occur.  She said all other doors should be locked by a certain time.

Maschio said the department is taking steps to improve the security of the building, but because people are constantly entering and exiting the building, it is difficult to secure.

“Quite frankly, one of the problems is that some students prop open the doors. So it doesn’t matter how elaborate the security system is,” Maschio said.

Maschio said she is aware of discussions to install cameras in one of the building’s rooms, and said the administration sends out occasional e-mails reminding students to keep doors closed and to make sure lockers are locked.

Maschio said she believes an officer from UK Police does periodic loops throughout the building nightly, but she has not been around during those hours to verify.

Gross said since her instrument was stolen, she has kept it at home.

“I was used to putting it in my locker after orchestra, but I always make a point to drop it off at home,” she said.

Michael Braun, associate professor in arts administration and undergraduate adviser, said the Fine Arts Dean’s Office had been working on the security problem prior to the recent break-ins, but the building is particularly difficult to monitor because students in ensembles and theatre productions enter and exit the building at all times.

“So how you come up with a good security system to keep them safe and keep the building accessible, it is a challenge,” Braun said.

The College of Fine Arts Web site instructs students not to leave doors propped open and to ensure doors are securely shut after leaving the building. For security inquiries, students can contact the Dean’s Office at 257-1707. To gain access to the card swiping system, fine arts students can take their UK ID to room 202 of the Fine Arts Building, according to the Web site.