Electronic locks installed at URC


Since its opening four years ago, reported thefts at the University Recreation Center have declined each year. However, this past July, digital locks were installed on some of the day-use lockers to help decrease thefts even more.

“Every year we’re always looking for something different to better the building itself in terms of services, amenities — anything we can do to make this place a more safe and enjoyable atmosphere for students and users alike,” said URC manager Jamie Gwinn. “We came across these locks and decided to give them a shot to try to help deter the thefts.”

The locks require users to enter a four-digit code of their choice to both secure and open the locker, and each locker is equipped with instructions.

The medium-sized lockers in both hallways downstairs have been equipped with the digital locks. The tall lockers and the lockers in the men’s and women’s student locker rooms are open and still require padlocks.

Gwinn said the reaction has been positive. “They really like it,” he said. “Obviously it’s saving themselves five to six dollars without having to buy a lock.”

Junior Nicholas Crow uses the digital locks at the fitness center often. “They’re cool. I really like them,” he said. “They’re convenient because you don’t need to buy a lock, you just type in a combination and your stuff is secure.”

Users forgetting their combination or locker number has been a common occurrence.  “We’re helping 40 to 50 students out per day at least, just trying to help them out, showing them how to use them and helping them find their correct locker,” Gwinn said.

URC staff frequently patrol the lockers to assist users. “They wander up and down the halls every [10 to 15] minutes just listening and asking if people need help,” Gwinn said. “They’re the ones who are in charge of these lockers. They’re the ones who clean them out at the end of the night and make sure they’re all unlocked and they’re good to go for the next morning.”