When I think of lockers, I hark back to the thunderous metal clunk of me getting slammed against them by an extremely frustrated high school peer. Although high school bullies misused lockers as a tool for violence, most utilized them to hold supplies and lighten the weight of their bookbag for the day.
Due to the requirements of our classes and on-campus commitments, students must bring laptops, books and an ample amount of school supplies to participate each day. We carry pounds and pounds in our backpacks each day and must carry them at all times, since there is no secure storage area for undergraduate students. This isn’t just inconvenient, but physically demanding. USF should provide personal and secure storage for students at a monthly fee for on-campus students and free of charge for students who live off-campus. This type of service is not absurd and is already available in the Koret Center and Kendrick Hall for law students.
College is demanding and students are expected to perform at a higher academic level than in secondary education. Aside from daunting course loads, school is also physically taxing. Regardless, we continue trudge on with heavy backpacks and shoulder bags to our next class.
High school was no easy time. Aside from the social matters, we all had our various activities to participate in. Personally, I spent years running cross-country and track everyday after school. This led me to rent out a gym locker and soon this became my central hub. My locker stored books, shoes, running gear and anything that couldn’t be lugged around. This freed my hands for the day. A typical college day could benefit from this freedom and students would be glad to shed their heavy bags when they arrived on campus. From there, a student would only need to carry the right notebook and specific materials to the class.
However, the critic would also point to the fact that students already rely on their dorm rooms for storage during the school day. Of course, they forget to include the student who live off campus.
For those who live off campus, even a car may not be a safe place to store valuables. According to the Clery report published by the Department of Public Safety, there were a total of four reported robberies and four thefts related to students. However, many of these thefts go unreported.
The threat of theft is always present in the big city and USF’s location is no different. Whatever the fact may be, students at USF should be given an option to store their belongings in a secure locker while they are on campus. Given that Public Safety already administers parking permits, this department would be most suited to take on this project. Considering this point of view, current students and future generations will benefit from lockers provided on campus.
Another benefit to on-campus lockers is the security and peace of mind it can provide. Every student on campus has been interrupted by the “could-you-watch-my-bag-for-a-second?” request by another student in the library or a common area. Security is always an issue and belongings can be stolen at any time by anyone. No, we do not live in a paranoid delusion – but students are rightly aware that leaving important belongings is not smart.
Implementing personal secure storage for students on campus would reduce theft, or at least reducing its perceived threat. By doing so, this would lower stress for students and lower the workload of Public Safety. A campus that believes it is safe will curb its fears and anxieties regarding safety.
However, a service like this could be costly. Where would they be installed and how much would they cost? Who would manage such a service and would it even appeal to students? These are the fundamental questions that would drive the next step of development for such a proposal.
Featured Photo: Lockers are associated with high school, but could they serve a purpose on a college campus? (Eamon O’Leary/Foghorn)