GW to change residence hall locks

Students in all residence halls should turn in their room keys starting Thursday because their door locks will be changed, according to the Community Living and Learning Center.

CLLC made the decision to change all the locks along with University Police, Facilities Management and the Department of Risk Management, said Helen Dias, director of operations for residence halls.

“We’ve been working on this for several months,” Dias said. “This was a group effort and not a spontaneous decision.”

Security issues fueled the decision to change the locks, Dias said.

“This is not a reaction to poor security, however, we’re thinking in terms of improving security on campus and in the residence halls,” Dias said.

Dias said that by changing the locks mid-semester, CLLC was “minimizing the inconvenience.”

“We thought that it made sense to have the students who are here adjust to the new locks,” she said.

Dias said it would be impractical to change the locks after the semester is over because of the short time students, interns and other residents are housed on campus during the summer.

Dias said the changing of locks will result in two modifications. She said students will be able to lock dead bolts from the outside and will receive a dead bolt key in addition to their normal keys.

Also, students who lose keys will no longer be allowed to make a copy of the spare key to avoid paying a fee, she said.

“The new keys cannot be duplicated,” Dias said. “That’s going to be a help to security. Periodically, it’s good to change the locks and keys.”

Residence Hall Association President Justin Lavella said he supports the plan to change the locks. He asked if the locks would have to be changed again whenever a student loses his or her key, which he said might be a problem.

Lavella also said that in the near future, CLLC and RHA will work for the installation of peepholes in more rooms.

“It’s always good to increase security,” he said.

“We want to make sure we provide the best living environment possible on campus,” Dias said. “Right now, this just has to do with room keys.”

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