Not fucking very, it turns out.
I live in University accommodation, and I basically never have to use my key. This left me wondering; could a random, with no special training (or talent), make their way to the top floor of our accommodation buildings without a key? Then I thought; hey, I’m a random with no special training or talent! I don’t have a key to these buildings! Thus, this god-tier mischief was born.
THE TASK: Get from the outside of the building to the top floor, without a key, and without being stopped.
THE ONLY RULE: If I am stopped, I cannot lie; I must admit I don’t live there and leave.
Spoiler alert – literally not one person questioned my presence. That alone is terrifying. People, please, I beg you; be assholes! You’re too nice! Don’t let people follow you in! Question people who don’t get their key out! Some people will think you’re a wanker, but you’ll be a very safe wanker. There were times where I looked sketchy as all hell (wandering around with clearly no clue where the lifts were, waiting outside on the step and leaping up to tailgate someone in), so the fact that no one stopped me is very, VERY concerning. A little bit of douchebaggery on your part could keep your whole building safe.
Without further ado, let’s find out which buildings I visited, how I rate their security, and where I made it to.
UniHall Towers: 0/10 – Top Floor
I almost gave this place a 1, because I did have to sit outside for a while before someone came along. But, I still got in, and made it all the way up. Thanks to the nice man who opened the door for me, but that’s probably not a great idea. Also, to the girl on floor 14 who looked me dead in the face and said a cheery hello – you probably should learn the faces of the people who live on your floor. I mean, what if I had been a total weirdo who sneaks into buildings for fun?
ANZAC BEACH: 5/10 – Entrance to Flats
I made it inside, but missed getting through the second door following that same person. Eventually, someone came out, and I got through the second one, only to find that there was a fucking third one! This building loses points because I did get through two, but doesn’t get a fail grade because I couldn’t reach the actual area where the flats were.
Waiparuru Hall: 8/10 – Study/Kitchen Area
If you are a burglar, do not try to break into this building. You need a swipe card for EVERYTHING.
I managed to follow a group of three into the building, but the crafty buggers stopped at the reception desk, so I couldn’t follow behind them through the second door. This led to my awkward diversion to the bathroom, where I hoped someone would be there to follow when I came out. As luck would have it, someone did show up, and I followed them through to the second area. Once I got in there, you needed a goddamn map to find the fucking lifts! That ground floor is bigger than HSB. After ten minutes of searching, I decided I looked properly suspicious and would imminently be arrested if I did not quickly vacate.
Turns out, you need a key to exit the damn place! I had to sit right beside the exit, looking for all the world like Selina Kyle with twenty extra kilos, and follow someone out with my tail between my legs. I sweated through my damn shirt, convinced I’d be taken to Mt Eden Prison and thrown away for life. It’s not getting a perfect 10 because I did manage to get some way in, but boy, my blood pressure was up damn high. Do not recommend.
Te Tiroranga: 0/10 – Top Floor
This place almost has excellent security, but it doesn’t have overly cautious residents. I followed two people in through both locked doors, and thought I was golden. But, when I entered the lift, I realised you needed a key to operate it. I thought my goose was thoroughly cooked. But, thankfully for this experiment (though not for the safety of his fellow residents), a lovely young man swiped his card for me. I didn’t ask him to, and he did it without a word, so I didn’t break my rule. Hey friend, I’m sure you’re very nice, but maybe don’t do that without even asking if I live there. Again, thanks for caring, but stop it.
O’Rorke Hall: 3/10 – Top Floor Corridor
The fact that I was able to even get through the gate after sitting outside for 15 minutes looking guilty as all hell is proof enough that this place needs better security. But, the addition of swipe access to the individual floors meant I could only make it to the corridor of the top floor, not into the floor itself.
It was also a nightmare trying to get out. Like Waiparuru, you need a swipe card to leave. While you’re sitting there, waiting to tailgate some poor unwitting sap back to freedom, you might as well be dressed as the Hamburglar. But, again, the fact that no one questioned me was lunacy.
Grafton Hall: 10/10 – Not Even Inside
This place is like Fort Knox. There are so many entrances that it’s impossible to follow anyone in, because there’s nowhere to wait for them. Also, you need a swipe card to get out of the gate to the complex, which had me convinced I would die in there, but thankfully I found a side exit. No mischief to be done there.
Carlaw Student Village: 9/10 – Reception Area
There are so many parts to this place, it’s like a transformer. I made it through one door, but then they pulled that sneaky visiting-reception trick again, and I couldn’t get through to the other building. Well played, Carlaw, well played.
55 Symonds Street: 0/10 – Top Floor
Absolutely horrific. Got straight from outside to the top without any pause. Undoubtedly the easiest one to do. So easy, in fact, that I have nothing else entertaining to say about it. Fix it up, guys.
So, what did we learn from this?
Well, most notably for me personally; I am wasting my time paying for Uni when I should just become a burglar. Eat your heart out Tom Cruise.
But, for the safety of students, every accommodation building should have:
o A reception desk RIGHT BESIDE the first set of locked doors, because it’s extremely intimidating to try and sneak in right in front of them.
o Elevators that require a swipe key to move the floors (and for god’s sake, don’t swipe up people you don’t know!).
o No clear signage to point out the lifts – makes it pretty obvious who doesn’t live there.
o Exits that operate by swipe cards, so that if you do manage to finesse your way in, you can’t get out.
I promise, that’s the last time I’ll use the word ‘finesse.’ I honestly feel dirty.