A nasty surprise come January

A nasty surprise come January

This PSA is relevant only to those who have electronic swipe access to their room via CUID. If you access your room with a mechanical key or a Ving card (the one with holes in it), go find some other way to procrastinate. 

Last week, housing sent out an e-mail to everyone who uses their CUID as their room key about some sort of “self-encoder” stations that you have to stick your CUID in to “re-activate” it. Whatever that means.

Except what it means matters, because if you don’t re-activate your CUID by today at one of those mysterious black boxes with flashing lights that have appeared in Wien, Hartley, Broadway, Nussbaum and Carman, you will find yourself unable to access your room. In order to use the encoder station, simply place your CUID into the slot with the magnetic strip on the right side, facing down. The machine will make funny noises for about 15 to 30 seconds, then spit your card back out with gusto. If your room key fails to work after this process, or if you left campus before re-activating your card, see Hartley Hospitality desk for “further assistance.”

The full e-mail from Housing:

Dear [Student],

We are writing to share important information about the electronic key system for your door. On Wednesday, December 19, your CUID will become deactivated as your electronic room key as part of a security upgrade. We are taking this opportunity to pilot a self-encoding system at various building locations. In order to maintain access to your room, you must reactivate your key at a self-encoder station sometime between December 13th and December 19th so that you can continue to use your key for the remainder of the term or academic year, depending on your status. Please make sure to follow the instructions here so you do not get locked out of your room.

Self-encoder stations will be conveniently located in the following buildings at or near the guard desks:

• 600 West 113th Street
• Broadway
• Carman
• Hartley (first floor lounge)
• Wien

Reactivating your card will require you to put your CUID with the electronic strip on the right side facing down into the encoder. Please note that if there is an error in encoding your card, access to your room will immediately be removed. Consequently, please allow significant time to encode and verify that your CUID is working properly. If your card will not encode and you have lost access to you room, please go to the Hartley Hospitality Desk for further assistance.

This email is only being distributed to students living in rooms that use electronic room keys. If you believe you have received this email in error please contact housing@columbia.edu as soon as possible. Deactivation of your electronic room key will not affect access to other Columbia buildings (such as Butler Library, Lerner Hall, Dodge Fitness Center, etc).

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation.

Good luck on your final exams,
Columbia Housing

Getting locked out via Shutterstock