Bolted doors can lead to $250 fine
Complex residents have experienced a lot of confusion regarding the bolted door policy in the few past weeks.
Residents have received emails regarding an increase in bolted- door violations. The emails warn that violators could be fined up to $250 and encourage students to be more diligent in keeping their keys with them.
This comes as a surprise to many, such as sophomore Alicia Lyzenga.
“Upon moving in, we were told that we could bolt our bedroom doors, just not the suite door,” she said. “Now they’re saying otherwise.”
All of the rules and fines can be found in the fire safety handbook all residents were issued upon moving in, according to Dawn Ohanessian, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life.
Page 12 of the handbook under Actions Prohibited in Housing Facilities states that, “propping room doors open with an object or using the deadbolt to prevent a room door from closing” is listed as an “action which compromise(s) egress and/or create(s) greater risk.”
“The misunderstanding seems to lie in the fact that the Complex is one of the only residence halls that has a connecting room between the hallway and the bedrooms,” Ohanessian said, “whereas in other residence halls like Xavier and Boland, students enter straight into their room.”
Ohanessian added that housing directors for Complex assume that bedroom doors cannot be bolted; however, the fire safety book does not state this.
“The fire safety book does not specify whether a room door includes both the suite and bedroom doors, so the rule is assumed for all doors in residence halls,” she said.
Despite explanations, students disagree with the policy.
“I think it’s silly,” junior Neumann resident Joanna Chapman said. “(The bolted door policy) shouldn’t apply to both doors, especially if we’re just going to the bathroom.”
According to Ohanessian, the fine policy is also not as severe as it may seem.
“Fines are progressive,” Ohanessian said.
For the first violation, only a written notice will be posted on the back of the bolted door. Upon the third violation, an official judicial charge will be made. The fourth violation is when the fine of $250 will be considered, according to Ohanessian.
“We want residents to carry their keys with them to better keep themselves and their belongings safe,” Ohanessian said. “In doing so, one can prevent the spreading of potential fires and thwart possible thieves by keeping the doors closed.”
In regards to the number of lockouts, “it’s not unusual,” Ohanessian said. “The door policy has just been reinforced in the past few years in compliance with the fire policies.”
Victoria Plate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.