Caleb Crother, The Horizon
The security kiosks at the entrances of Westmont remain unfinished. Despite construction for the project lasting several months, there is no confirmed operational date for the kiosks.
Westmont officials cited supply chain issues due to COVID-19 as a cause for the delay. William Boyd, director of campus safety, commented, “With shipping supplies being limited … COVID still running strong in the supply chain is the reason why we’re still delayed.” In particular, a notable challenge has been acquiring windows for the kiosks.
The project seeks to provide more on-campus safety for the school by limiting the in-coming and out-going flow of traffic. With the safety of the surrounding area and daytime-only hours of operation, some students have wondered as to the necessity of the kiosks.
First-year student Avery Schude shared her thoughts on the matter: “Considering we live in Santa Barbara, one of the safest cities I know, I don’t think it’s completely necessary, but better safe than sorry!”
“Westmont is blessed to be nestled in the hills of Montecito, which provides a level of quiet and safety that many other campuses do not enjoy,” acknowledged Doug Jones, Westmont’s vice president for finance. “Even so, the planned and unplanned guest traffic to campus is not insignificant. Having the kiosks will provide an opportunity for those who staff them to welcome guests to campus, direct them to their destination and present a security presence.”
After years without this type of security at Westmont, why now? For Jones, the project has been a long time coming. He commented, “The idea of building kiosks has been in motion for several years. We had finally gotten to the point where we were ready to build them during summer 2020, but COVID meant that our time and attention needed to be given to other things, thus the delay to 2021.”
The kiosks present an opportunity for enhanced safety measures on campus and further protection for students, staff and faculty.