Students will have to shell out for lock-outs

On Tuesday, Carnegie Mellon students living in campus housing received an e-mail from Housing and Dining Services announcing the imposition of charges for temporary keys when students lock themselves out ofthier dorm rooms. The initial temporary key is free of charge; each additional incident incurs a charge that increases in $5 increments. In addition, students who lose their IDs must pay $25, up from the previous $15, for a replacement.

Students living in the Oakland Community Apartments — Webster Hall, Fairfax Apartments, Cathedral Mansions, London Terrace, Neville Apartments, Shady Oak Apartments and Veronica Apartments — will be charged $60 for losing their metal keys. Moreover, students who reside in Webster and Fairfax, both of which use key-fobs in addition to metal keys, will be charged an additional $25 for losing the key-fob.

The key-fob is a small, electronic-access device provided to the resident, which, when swiped in the designated area at the building’s entrance, will allow the resident in.

“The reason behind these costs is to encourage students to be responsible residents and individuals,” said Kim Abel, director of Housing and Dining.

The policies discussed in the e-mail are by no means new, according to Abel and her staff.

“The lock-out charges have been in existence for about four years now. Furthermore, they are explicitly stated in The Undergraduate Student Guide to Housing and Dining Services, which all students receive during Orientation week,” said Sherra Moors, a staff member at Housing and Dining.

Moors also said that the key-fobs provided to students in Webster and Fairfax apartments are the property of the residential complexes.

All other university housing residences are accessible to students via their student ID cards.

Students who hold their housing access on their student ID card may request a temporarily activated access key upon losing their card, as stated in The Undergraduate Student Guide to Housing and Dining Services.

Off-campus residents with hard metal keys are instructed to contact the office of Housing and Dining Services during normal hours (8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday), and University Police after-hours and on weekends, should they misplace their keys or key-fobs. University Police will give them access to their apartments by providing them with a spare key. Students are expected to return the spare key to Housing and Dining within 24 hours.

“We usually send out the actual notification regarding lock-outs by midterm each year, so that students have settled in and are more aware of their surroundings. We have followed exactly the same procedure this time around,” Abel said.

The handbook also states that funds collected for lock-outs contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the SafeWalk program, a nighttime escort service provided to Carnegie Mellon students in order to ensure their safety during late hours.

“Our students are our responsibility. To help them adapt to the Carnegie Mellon culture, while taking into consideration their safety, is our obligation,” Abel said.
Through this policy, students are encouraged to take particular care of their keys, and as a result, save their roommates, the contracting residences, and Carnegie Mellon a lot of trouble, Abel said.

Copies of The Undergraduate Student Guide to Housing and Dining Services handbook are available in the Office of Housing and Dining Services and the University Center.
For more information on updated Housing and Dining policies, visit (