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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Academic sanctioning: The keys to success?

Published: November 10, 2006
Section: Opinions

The new lockout policy at Brandeis has gained a lot of negative attention due to the unnecessary paperwork that students must fill out when they are locked out of their rooms. However, when discussing the change of policy that now forces students to go to the Residence Life office to be readmitted to their rooms, they failed to inform the community that the new policy allows Residence Life to academically punish students who are repeat “lockout” offenders.

An anonymous student forwarded a letter from Jeremy Leiferman, Associate Director of Residence Life, that stated because the student had been locked out “two times this year,” the student must “review your habits regarding keys.” He proceeded to assert that any “further lockouts from your residence hall room will result in a meeting with a Residence Life staff member, which may result in educational sanctioning as part of the conversation.”

Residence Life has completely stepped beyond the realm sanity with the new policy. Thinking that being locked out of a dorm room three times merits a meeting with Residence Life and academic sanctioning is as pointless as it is unjustified While responding to lockouts is an annoyance to Public Safety, the annoyance of listening to an inane lecture on the importance of keeping ones keys on them at all times is far greater. If Residence Life firmly believes that there should be a disincentive given to students to assure that they do not continue to lock themselves out of their rooms, they would be better served by issuing a small fine to offending students, rather than force them to fill out useless paperwork and resentfully listen to their banalities.

In the letter, Residence Life admits that they “recognize that you will occasionally find yourself in situations where you have been accidentally locked out of you room.” Perhaps they should amend their policies to reflect this truth and cease the needless punishment of students because of accidental situations. It would be wise of Residence Life to realize that educational sanctions should be saved for actual threats to the community's peace, not those who accidently inconvenience Residence Life.