Newest D-Hall security device that would be amusing to see: Iron Maidens

< 1 minute read

December 12, 2003, 6:43 PM

While I was talking to the D-Hall cashier today, we had two people try to sneak in without paying (they were tracked down and made to pay). That led to two discussions…

First of all, we discussed how silly it was to try to avoid paying in D-Hall, since you pay with a punch, which is already paid for with tuition.

However, the second part was amusing. How do we keep people from, shall we say, “jumping the turnstile”? It came up that turnstiles would help, with people swiping their JAC cards like New Yorkers swipe their Metrocards. Metrocards, for those of you who don’t know, replaced the fabled subway token for good in 2003.

So you swipe your JAC, it’s verified, and the turnstile opens. Go eat. But you want to really be secure about it, and prevent people from simply going out the in? Install what is known as an “iron maiden” at the entrances and exits. An iron maiden is a big wheel with bars radiating out from it that only turns one way, and only lets you go one way on it. New York’s used them for entrances and exits on the subway for years. Swipe your JAC on a reader, the inbound iron maiden unlocks and lets you in, and then on the way out you use the outbound iron maiden. In the event of an emergency, people can still exit through the iron maidens. And like I said, New York’s been using them for years in the subway.

I think it would be quite amusing to see an iron maiden-style turnstile installed in D-Hall, and is HIGHLY unlikely to ever happen, but you must admit that an iron maiden would be effective…

Web site: A picture of an "Iron Maiden" in place in the New York Subway, from

Song: Last-season theme from Roseanne, as sung at the end of the final episode.

Quote: "This'll do it. Install one of those big iron maidens at the entrances. There's even space for them!"

Categories: JMU