Walk into Conejo Hall and you might be in for a surprise when you stop outside Resident Assistant Chris Mitchell’s door. Instead of a key lock, a new ID lock and key pad have been installed. It is part of a trial run by California Lutheran University’s Residence Life that it eventually plans to implement all over campus.
These new locks will open using student ID cards instead of keys and will offer a safer, more convenient and ultimately cheaper alternative for students.
“The goal is for less hassle for students and to not have to spend time and money re-coring for lost keys,” Chris Paul, associate director for student life said.
Currently, some students struggle with remembering IDs to get into the buildings as well as the keys to get into their rooms. Almost every student at some point in four years will lock themselves out of their room and we all know how awful that is.
“The key pad is a great feature because if you forget your ID card or lose it, you can call up campus safety or facilities and they’ll tell you what your room code is,” Mitchell said. “They, of course, reset the codes after you get into the room.”
This helps other RAs, as well. Senior Hayley Jensen, an RA in Grace Hall, knows how often students come to her door because they are locked out. It is a stressful and somewhat annoying situation, especially in the middle of the day when the RAs are not guaranteed to be around.
“I think that the new lock system will be more convenient for RA staff to be able to key people into rooms,” Jensen said. “The liability of having a master key will be alleviated as well as the possible cost of having to re-core an entire building if one of those keys are lost.”
There is the issue of price, as well. Though these locks are more expensive to install, they might save students money in the long run.
“If a student loses their key, they have to pay $60 to get it re-cored and go through the hassle of getting a new key,” Paul said.
With these new locks, if students lose their ID cards, they only have to go to the Welcome Center to receive a new one at a much lower cost and a much higher convenience.
The main question about the new locks is, of course, student safety. Residence Life is confident that these ID locks are the safest alternative to our traditional locks now.
“From a safety perspective, students will not be able to leave their doors unlocked,” Paul said. “This will help all the residents of the suite feel better to know that they do not have to rely on the other roommates to remember to lock the door.”
This new feature could be the hardest for students to accept. Many students leave their doors unlocked when at least one suitemate is in the room to encourage an open and social environment.
This is common, especially in the freshman halls and some students have said they would not be fond of the new locks if they would not allow them to leave the door unlocked.
Mitchell said it also takes facilities awhile to set up the lock to work with students’ IDs which can be frustrating for the students. However, he agrees that it is a good system and will be easier for students in the long run.
Paul said that implementing these locks all over campus is the eventual plan, but there will be an adjustment period for facilities before changing the locks.
“I am interested to know over the long term how students like this new system,” Paul said.
The new locks are coming and ultimately, it will save students time, money and frustration.
Published March 5, 2014