Resident Assistants lose master key privilege

Rebecca Tokarz

Quinnipiac students returned to campus last weekend to freshly fallen snow and a new dormitory policy.
The new policy implemented by Residential Life takes away the master keys the Resident Assistants carry. In the past, these keys have been used to key into rooms when residents have locked themselves out.
Depending on the time frame in which a student locks themselves out of their room, they would have to contact someone from Central Duty if they are locked out between the hours of 7 p.m. and 12 a.m., security between the hours of 12 a.m. and 8 a.m., or the Residential Life between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Hours vary on the weekends.
The change in the policy comes as a result of discussions between Carol Boucher, Director of Residential Life, John Twining, Head of Security and the Fire Commissioner of Hamden during the break concerning dormitory fire and safety policies.
Most schools don’t allow their Resident Assistants to have master keys unless they are on duty, Boucher says. The decision was made as a way to reduce the liability of the Resident Assistant.
Boucher paralleled not having the keys to your bedroom here at school to not being responsible enough to carry keys to your home. “Students need to be accountable,” Boucher says. “Students need to be responsible and care for the keys to their home.”
Under the new policy, students are allowed two free key-ins. The third offense brings along a fine of $50. The fourth offense brings along another fine of $50. If a student needs to be keyed-in a fifth time, a student will not be allowed access to their room.
Julie Oliveira, a junior, mass communications major, shares her feelings about the situation. “Having security have the master keys may not make it as convenient to get into your room. But, at least you know that you can get into your room instead of having to find an R.A. who has a master key to your dorm. I think that the fines are a little much.”
One concern that this new policy brings about is one about fire safety. If a fire alarm sounds, a Resident Assistant normally knocks on all residents’ doors and may even key into a room to ensure everyone evacuates the building.
As part of the new policy, Resident Assistants are to bang on doors and make sure they leave the building as well.
“In the event of a fire alarm, Resident Assistants will bang on the doors to ensure most students get out. The fire department will then go through the building to make sure they get out,” Boucher says. “Keeping our Residential Assistants in the buildings is not a good idea.”
Anyone with questions or concerns about the new fire/safety policy should contact Residential Life, X 8666.