The traditional key is quickly becoming obsolete on campus as students now use their ID cards to get into their dorm rooms.
“When you look at the industry and you look at housing that is being built all around the country, card access for doors is starting to become much more normative,” said Craig Allen, Director of Housing and Residence Life.
“The transition is taking place for a number of reasons,” Allen said. The first reason is that having card access to dorm rooms is more cost efficient for both students and the university.
Sheri Milhollin, the manager of the TCU ID Card Center, is working on the transition.
“When a key to a resident hall gets lost you usually have to replace just that one key. Now if a key belonging to a manager of a building gets lost then the entire building has to be rekeyed,” Milhollin said. “Also for students if you lose your room key it is 50 dollars to replace but if you lose your id card it is only 20 dollars to replace.”
Allen said security also played a role in the decision to switch from keys to cards.
“The ID center has the ability to immediately shut off a card as soon as a student knows that it has gone missing. This is much more effective than a traditional key that could take a considerable amount of time to get the locks rekeyed,” Allen said.
Milhollin said that the ID card is more convenient for students because they only have to keep track of an ID compared to keeping track of an ID and a key.
“If you think about the fact that this card is much more than just a key, the card works like a credit card in the bookstore and in the vending machines and as a debit card at on campus restaurants. The hope is that as soon as someone figures out their card is missing they go to the Frogbucks link and turn the card off,” Milhollin said.
The use of ID keycards is already in place for Marion Hall, P.E. Clark Hall, and Hays Hall. Allen said that as of now, there are no plans to go back and retrofit the older dorms.
“The next project that will implement this new system will be the newly renovated Colby Hall,” Allen said.