Campus Life cracks down on lockouts


The first lock-out is free, the next will cost you.

Campus life drafted a lockout policy last year but could not effectively enforce it. This year, however, Campus Life staff has revised the policy and announced it will begin to regularly enforce it.

After the freebie, the second lockout costs $5, the third costs $10 and the fourth or more time will result in a personal meeting with the student’s hall director to decide on community service hours.

 “The policy is something that continues to evolve,” Director of Campus Life Corey Kopp said. “We were dealing with an enormous amount of lockouts [which] were eating up valuable time.”

The purpose of the policy is to make students more responsible and encourage them to remember to grab their keys before they leave their dorm room.

“We don’t want to be jerks.,” Jeff Venekamp, Senior Associate Director of Campus Life, said. “We are not trying to be punitive and apply some massive penalty, but there has to have some teeth in [the policy] so students think about it. We don’t want students abusing the system because they think they can always call someone to fix it for them.” 

The procedure for lockouts involves calling Campus Safety or Campus Life staff, such as Viking Advisors and hall directors, to grab the master key and unlock the door for the student. Depending on what else the staff is dealing with, lockouts can distract from other important issues, Kopp said.

“In real life, in an apartment off campus, this would be an expensive locksmith call,” Venekamp said.


“A locksmith will also take longer than five to ten minutes to respond,” Kopp said. “We want to prepare students for life after campus living, in the real world. Luckily, few students ever make it to the second or third or more lock-out. They learn after the first one.”

Stavig V,  Kolby Vander Woude, disagrees.

“It’s unfair to charge with only one warning,”  Vander Woude said. “I haven’t heard of a single person who has intentionally locked themselves out of their room. Most of the time it’s a student that left to shower and then the roommate left and locked the door, so they are getting charged for something outside of their hands.”

Kopp said Campus Life has given VAs advice on how to correctly enforce the policy.

“We always give hall staff some discretion on how the stuff is applied,” Kopp said. “If they feel there is a reasonable cause behind it, they don’t have to write the lockout down. But there does need to be focus on the situation. Students need to have these conversations with their roommates and check for their keys.”

Some dorms require different learning curves, according to Vander Woude. On the first floor of Stavig and all of Tuve, the doors lock automatically when closed, unless the inside latch is disengaged.

“It’s still student responsibility,” Venekamp said.

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“I think it’s a necessary policy,” junior Hannah Vaca said. “I always carry my key on me just in case.” 

After a second or third lock-out, the student’s student account gets charged. 

The money then goes into a Campus Life fund, according to Kopp. 

“We always take that money and put it right back into the community,” Kopp said. “We put it directly back into programs that benefit the students.”

The money can also be put towards new locks and keys, said Venekamp. 

This does not include fees for losing a key. 

If a student loses their key somewhere off-campus, it will cost $5 to have the key replaced. 

However, if the key is lost on-campus, the charge will be $75 as the entire lock must be replaced, according to the student handbook.

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