Suites get new key systems

By Eboni Lacey

January 23, 2012

To provide better safety to the students and give the campus the most efficient technology, the key office and the facilities department partnered with residential life to install new key mechanisms for the residential halls. Instead of the old padlock keys that have been installed for several years, the departments decided to get brand new key sliders for every front door of the dorms.  According to Key Access Specialist and Assistant Locksmith Clint Barnes, the student’s safety was the number one reason for installing the new key system. “The largest part of my job is safety,” Barnes said. ““I hold that end very, very high. There is no other way around it. Students have to feel safe. Student safety is number one.” Residential Assistant Derek Thompson, who stated that he didn’t hear about the new key systems, felt that the lock upgrade might have been a little unnecessary. “I liked the old ones better,” Thompson said. “They were easier to use. I guess these ones are better for winter weather. We have locks that already worked and I don’t think we really needed them if they were expensive.” According to Barnes, thousands of dollars were spent to purchase and install the new locks. Last year, the Facilities Department drew up a bid to install the new systems. Barnes also thinks that Residential Life paid for the upgrade. “I’m pretty sure Residential life paid for it,” Barnes said. Barnes noted that anytime a department requests for new locks or mechanisms, the department is entitled to pay for it. “It doesn’t come out of maintenance budget because we don’t have it.” Griffon Hall Resident Jerrica Brown also felt the new lock upgrade were a meaningless addition to the campus. “It doesn’t seem like there is a difference,” Brown said. “I think they are really pointless. I think they are wasting money on pointless things that don’t benefit students.” In edition to the new lock system, the key office has found more efficient ways to insure campus security.  The security is due mainly to students that need or desire access into academic buildings. To achieve access, a form must be signed by the department chair, vice president of the department and dean or director of that department. This form must be filled out every semester. “Just because you want access into room x,y,z doesn’t mean you are going to get it,” Barnes said. Barnes also gives a stern warning to students that have access to any academic building about the importance of being responsible of your electronic chip key and not losing it or loaning it out. “If you loan your chip to somebody, we are going to know about it,” Barnes said. “I can run and audit and tell you exactly who came into that door.”