Access to the Research Commons

Access to the Research Commons should be automatically granted on swiping staff/student cards to staff, researchers and to HDR graduate students.  However the reality has been a bit awkward.  The definition of HDR graduate students should be Masters by research and PhDs.  And with staff the issue has been the access for some that might be professional staff but in a research support mode.  There is sometimes a time delay from HR with new enrolments to our database to allow for access.  We have tried to address the issue with signage that if access doesn’t happen to email or tell us and we can intervene to make it happen within 24 hours.

What we have found too is that there might be one or two legitimate students that have access that open up access to others be they undergraduate, honours students, or even friends from other Universities.  A security sweep of the area moves a certain amount of those that are not meant to be there but it is a problem.

Generally the use of the area is okay but when there is a group, particularly of unauthorized users that have gained access,  there has been feedback of making legitimate users feel uncomfortable and not want to come back to use the area if subjected to loud or inappropriate misuse.

When a seminar or day event has booked out the complete Research Commons and Viz Lab the policing of blocking access to those not part of the seminar can be an issue.  If those in charge of the event staff the main entrance door all is well.  Some however just staff the door at start of event and then leave the door propped open which again leads to unauthorized access.

From the outset we have had a first come first served regarding the breakout rooms. within the Research Commons.  What we have found though is the reality of some taking possession of the room and staying there all day and/or taking ownership of the room by leaving their belongings there when they go out of the area.

We are reviewing all the above with signage and asking security to do more sweeps of the area but it is not perfect.  Does anyone have experience with maintaining post graduate areas as post graduate areas?  Or in this case a mixed post graduate and staff only area?

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