Locked Out? That’ll Be $5

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we sure as shit don't look this cute when we're locked out

we sure as shit don’t look this cute when we’re locked out

Fill in the blank: The last time I got locked out was [last term, last month, last week, yesterday, I’m locked out right now].

No fear: Columbia’s latest student attempt to get the administration to care about lowly undergrads petition is on lockout policy. In case you didn’t know, next semester, there’s a good chance that Hospitality would charge you $5 for every time you forget your key and make the trek to Hartley all on your own. If you need them to drop the key off, the fine will be a hefty $20. The policy will probably apply after for your first two trips or your first “key assist” (having the key delivered). On the bright side, you’ll get all of September as a freebie to get adjusted to your new housing. The money raised (take a moment to just think about how much bank this will make) will go towards a fund of student choice.

Why is this happening? Housing thinks you should grow up. It’s also a genuine security issue, in that if it’s late and you need an assist, there’s going to be fewer security personnel at Hartley because someone had to come drop off your key. Princeton’s tried it and apparently it works. Other options have been suggested, like giving master keys to public safety or RAs, but neither of those have been fully played out.

So what’s a poor student to do if you disagree with this? Why, sign a petition of course! Junior Sinclair Target is spearheading a petition via to keep Housing from charging students for borrowing keys. So far it’s got almost 160 supporters, and numbers are rising.

There’s probably a more efficient way to go about doing this. But it’s Columbia. Learn to expect the impractical. And remember to grab your fucking key.

Girl who actually owns two towels via Shutterstock

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  1. sure  

    sure, some schools charge for lockouts.

    you know what happens when they do? students pick locks and jam their doors open.

    the most epic was a student in uwisconsin (i think) - his dorm was kind of like Carman's, and he owned one of those magnetic credit card duplicator things, and he charged $1 or a beer to duplicate a keycard.

    Time for someone to get on that...

  2. CC 14  

    Ok I can perhaps understand charging for hospitality actually having to come to you because then they have to leave the desk and that takes from their other tasks especially since this will also encourage people who were just being too lazy to walk over to Hartley themselves, but I really see no reason we should have to pay $5 if we go ourselves. We pay enough for housing already. If they are going to implement this policy then I demand to have a door that can be deadbolted, therefore decreasing the chance I will accidentally lock myself out

  3. senior  

    Spent three full years in dorms where the doors lock automatically and managed to never once lock myself out. It's really, truly not that hard, If you're doing it every week, maybe an extra dose of responsibility wouldn't hurt.

  4. Charge only for the towel lockout  

    When I heard about this plan previously the idea was to charge students ONLY for when they requested that the staff to come over to their dorm. I completely agree with that version of the policy and believe that it should even be a bit more (like $10) for that service. BUT it is wrong to charge students when they come over to Hartley themselves. I have never seen the Hospitality desk so horribly busy that they can't already deal with how many people lock themselves out currently. A true "towel lockout" occurs rarely enough that it shouldn't be a burden on people's wallets, and I agree that it takes up enough of the staff's time that it should be charged. BUT NOT WHEN WE WALK THERE OURSELVES.

  5. Sinclair Target  

    If this bothers you, please don't just sign the petition—SHARE IT everywhere you can.

  6. Going to Fight this  

    I think that if we did an analysis of who gets locked out more, we would find that people who live in suites get locked out less (because they can leave their doors open always inside the suite), people with roommates get locked out less, and people with physical keys get locked out less.

    In order to reduce theft, Columbia has put in automatically locking doors. There are also a high number of singles.

    The dorms with suites cost significantly more than the hallway style dorms. The people that are most influenced by this additional financial burden would end up paying a bigger proportion of the fines. Part of having all services included under the cost of the dorm room, creates a more equitable environment. Take printing for example, by having students pay upfront for printing at the beginning of the semester financial aid can help cover that expense, and there isn't a difference between one student and another student during the semester about who has access to printing services. If we paid by the page, some students would have to be more cognizant than others of the additional money lost to printing. Having people pay because they live in a single on a hallway style dorm with automatic locking doors is unfair.

    Locks are also going to be damaged in ways that will cost the university more than providing keys. Students with roommates will sleep in lounges when they can't wake up their roommates to let them in.

    There are many reasons why Columbia originally decided to not charge for lock outs. It adds an unnecessary stress to student's lives and does not produce any rewards for the student. (Most students have keys to their homes not at Columbia, and they don't need a locksmith every week, when we graduate most students will have roommates, and most will never live with automatic locking doors.)

  7. Sinclair Fan

    FYI - it's Sinclair Target, not Thomas.

  8. Anonymous  

    Some might call me an innovator.

  9. Anonymous

    Some people pick the most ridiculous things to throw a tantrum over.

    Are we seriously arguing over having to pay $5 for being an idiot and locking yourself out? It's stupid to have a million cards floating around there because some people keep losing them and needing a new one. If you don't want to pay $5 then don't lock yourself out. Too easy.

    As for the comments that people will damage their locks to avoid lockouts, go ahead. Don't throw a hissy fit though when your RA notices is, writes you up, and housing hits you with a $150 fine to replace the lock.

  10. Anonymous  

    Is this something to throw a fit over? No.
    Is it still fucking retarded? Yes.

  11. Anonymous  

    Can someone explain to me why CU feels it needs to reduce the number of lock outs? Obviously, it's disruptive to Hartley Hospitality if they have to trek to your dorm to help you out, but what problem is there to be fixed?

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