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Fortress Imperial?

Aug 11 2006 14:09
The Dark Knight
Reception staff are to be replaced by turnstiles, to reduce costs and improve security.
Turnstiles at the new entrance to Biochemistry/Chemistry

From 1st November twelve of the current fifteen reception desks around South Kensington will close. A further two reception desks, including the entrance to 170 Queen's Gate, will become concierge positions.

Turnstiles similar to those recently installed at the new entrance to Chemistry & Biochemistry are expected to appear instead, coupled with additional CCTV cameras. Tighter security measures will also see improved signage to direct visitors from the main entrance on Exhibition Road to the appropriate building.

Residents of the C&G office have expressed concern at the loss of reception desks, particularly the one in Mechanical Engineering where the shared office key is kept. It is thought that the extra walk required to retrieve a key from the main desk in Tanaka could prove to be too much for some.

The proposed turnstiles also appear to be unsuitable for wheelchair users, with separate glass gates provided. These are currently operated by the soon-to-be-removed reception staff.

Additional postal staff are to be brought in to cope with the additional burden of distributing post around the campus, with fewer desks able to take packages.

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Discussion about “Fortress Imperial?”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Aug 11 2006 11:13

if more CCTV means fewer security goons loitering in various parts of the sherfield building then that is a good thing.

Aug 11 2006 13:50

The new turnstiles are for the BIOchemistry building, Chemistry entrance is further down the road and still has a reception.

Aug 12 2006 12:13

Won't they all end up loitering in Sherfield anyway? They needn't actually walk around, just wait to be told where to go if something "dodgy" shows up on the CCTV (like someone in a CGCU hoodie).

4. umm   
Aug 15 2006 11:59

There is a reception desk there as well! The photo only shows the turnstile, but to the right there's a big desk - soon to be occupied by a receptionist!

Aug 15 2006 12:24

It was occupied by a receptionist when I took that photo - but shouldn't be after November.

Aug 15 2006 19:11

Marcos, who mans the Biochem/Chem reception has got a petition going. I'd advise everyone to go and sign it. See if it will make a difference. :)

Aug 17 2006 14:07

This is an identical proposal to that which got squashed three or four years ago due to the massive rebellion the proposal provoked. Of course none of those who thought this up this time were here then, so don't realise what an emotive topic this is. Indeed those who started it last time round weren't here in 1991 when they wanted to privatize the entire lot to Group 4 or some such outfit.

That caused a college-wide strike and articles in the national press.

Aug 17 2006 14:35

A correction to "correction..."

The entrance depicted is a joint Chemistry/Biochemistry entrance. The Chemistry entrance at C2 was only temporary and was in place for the duration of the renovation of the joint entrance. The C2 entrance is now back on swipe access only and the temporary reception hut there is unoccupied.

9. argh   
Aug 17 2006 15:53

This isn't just a local problem pretty soon all the main departmental entrances across college will look like this but with no reception staff!

Aug 18 2006 13:06

Another correction - the Huxley entrance won't get the concierge, they're going to 170 QG and 58PG.

11. Editor   
Aug 18 2006 13:15

Noted and corrected, thanks.

12. Tom   
Aug 27 2006 00:07

The disabled gates are operated by swipe card.

The turnstyles themselves are of so poor implementation (they take 15 seconds to reset after someone has just used them) that people use the disabled gate, leading to greater risk of tailgating.

Aug 27 2006 09:30

Apparently the disabled gates are able to tell if tailgating occurs and set off an alarm.

In case anyone has missed it, there's a list of concerns at responses from College here.

14. Tom   
Aug 27 2006 14:20

I've tailgated plenty of times, just because it's quicker, and haven't been pounced on by security yet ;)

In fact, the gates themselves were permantley open for over a week until a few days ago.

Aug 27 2006 14:28

Time for some more questions to security by the looks of it!

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