Dorm locks improve privacy, safety

The Department of Residence Life is in the process of changing all suite-shared bathroom door locks from the outside of the bathroom to the inside, for privacy purposes—rather than security, in accordance with the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“This is not a new regulation,” Joellen N. Tipton, executive director of residence life and living learning program, said. “Our students prefer to be able to lock their rooms so that their suitemates can’t get in, but that is a violation of the fire code. It’s not under our control.”

This change will be taking place during the remainder of this semester and must be complete before the upcoming fall semester.

“In order to comply with the fire marshal’s directory, we had to do it immediately,” Tipton said. “It’s not something that could wait.”

All current residents with suite-shared bathrooms recently received an email explaining that their locks will be switched to the inside of the bathroom.

“We’ve never had a problem, but we are afraid that someone could get locked in,” Tipton said. “If there were a fire, they would have a hard time getting out.”

Some students are unhappy with the change as it will allow suitemates to more easily access their personal belongings. Suitemates will no longer have a way to prevent each other from entering their rooms.

“Some understand it, but most are unhappy because they would prefer to have security of their belongings,” Tipton. “They are already sharing a bathroom with these two other people so hopefully there is some trust there, but if they’re coming into their room without permission then that’s something our staff can work with. It’s still controlled access, in a way, because you know that the only people that can get into your room are you and possibly your suitemates, although they shouldn’t be”

All small houses and suite-style halls will be experiencing this change sometime in the coming months.


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