Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) implemented an updated lockout policy Jan. 23 of decreased fees in an effort to reduce the increased frequency of room lockouts this semester. REHS hopes the new, more affordable fees will push resident advisors (RAs) to adhere to the policy and charge students for their lockouts. The original fees for lockouts were contentious among many RAs, resulting in a lack of enforcement. The new policy includes one additional free lockout per semester as well as a $20 fee reduction in subsequent lockouts. Prior to the change, students were granted one free lockout per academic year, charged $25 for subsequent lockouts and $40 for any lockouts that occurred between 2–7 a.m.
The idea for the new policy came after REHS received feedback from RAs during in-service training about the plethora of lockout calls occurring at all hours. RAs Lani Cupo (junior) and Lena Owens (junior) conducted surveys of other RAs and met with former REHS Assistant Director John Rodriguez to voice their concerns, according to RA Elizabeth Bushong (junior).
According to Associate Director of REHS Laura McNaughton, REHS was experiencing an average of around one lockout per hour during the business hours and more lockouts in the evenings. McNaughton said that the new fees are meant to be more affordable for students.
Haines RA Marianna Babboni (sophomore) said that the updated fees could inspire a decrease in student lockout tendencies.
“A lot of RAs did not believe in the expensive fees for a lockout and hesitated when writing up reports,” Babboni said. “Since the update, we’ve had a general consensus to begin consistently reporting lockouts.”
Each lockout after the first two will be an extra $5 until students reach seven lockouts; students will then be charged $25 for any following lockouts. From 2–5 a.m., the charge increases to $10 for the inconvenience it poses to RAs who may be sleeping.
“As students infer the charges for lockouts, they will hopefully be more mindful about forgetting their IDs,” Babboni said.
The new policy states that students will immediately be charged once a staff member leaves to help a student, regardless of whether the student found a way into their room before then. REHS explained that these policies are in place due to the labor required to have someone constantly on watch. When students call in for a lockout, they remove staff who otherwise provide support and resources to other members of the community.
According to McNaughton, it is too soon to tell if the lockouts have decreased. REHS reminds students that their room keys should be carried at all times to avoid fees.
The complete policy change can be found in the Student Handbook under Residential & Housing Service’s Lockouts.