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September 13, 2010 | by  | in News |
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In the week that wasn’t

Report: First years still unable to use automatic doors

A report recently released by Victoria University has revealed that most first year students are still unable to use the automatic doors located around the university.

Common in Old Kirk and Hunter buildings at Kelburn Campus, the doors, which open automatically when a button is pushed, are infamous for the problems they present to new students.

The report was commissioned by the university as part of their review of student attendance and access to lectures. Many students said they had been put off going to lectures because of embarrassing encounters with the doors.

“I was trying to get to LAWS 121 and the doors just shut in my face and then they wouldn’t open! These people laughed, so I just went home,” one student wrote.

Other students say they are often late to their lectures because they have been forced to take a longer route in order to avoid the automatic doors.

Student Access Coordinator James Watkins told Salient that he was surprised with the results of the report.

“Every year around orientation we see a number of new students struggle with operating the doors and we’ve even seen some end up in Student Health.

“In the Student Access Department we view these mishaps as an integral part of the university experience, but to have problems as late as June… That’s baffled us.”

Watkins says that Student Access is currently looking at ways to deal with the issue. A number of suggestions have been put forward for review, including fluorescent signs, flashing lights around the buttons, automatic door angels hired by the university and a two-week automatic door crash course for all new students.

The automatic doors have long been a basis for ridicule in the Letters section of Salient, especially around Orientation Week. In March Salient received a complaint from a student who had been seriously injured when she got caught in the automatic doors.

“I don’t appreciate having to read all this crap about how funny it is when first-years can’t use the automatic doors. I have to use crutches for the next three months because of these horrible, evil doors. I DON’T THINK THAT’S FUNNY, DO YOU?! Sometimes when I’m just about to go to sleep I can hear the mechanical creak as the doors shut… MY BONES WERE CRUSHED,” the student wrote.

Staff at Student Access would like to talk to students about problems they have had with the automatic doors. This information will be used with the results from the report to improve the problem.

For more information or to complain, email

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