Residents who are locked out may borrow suite and room keys from the Hartley Hospitality Desk for a maximum of four hours upon presentation of their valid Columbia University ID card. Residents are charged $5 per day, up to three days, for unreturned keys. If a key is not returned by the end of the third day, Housing reserves the right to change the lock on the fourth day. Residents with metal keys or VingCards will be billed $50 for each lock change. Residents with University ID card key access will be billed $25 for each lock change.
If a key is broken, residents may obtain a replacement, free of charge, by returning all parts of the broken key to the Hospitality Desk.
If a resident’s key is stuck in a lock, the key should be turned to an upright position, then pulled out with one hand while pushing in the small core that immediately surrounds the key. A key should be replaced at the Hospitality Desk if a problem persists or if the key does not unlock the door; otherwise the key may break off inside of the lock, requiring a lock change. Read more about Keys & Locks
Ving Locks (Plastic)
Parts of John Jay and McBain are equipped with Ving locks that use plastic “VingCards” as keys. To open the door, insert the key into the slot, with the word “VingCard” facing up, until the raised border meets the edge of the slot. Turn the doorknob or lever until the door opens.
Doors in John Jay and McBain lock automatically upon closure. To lock individual room doors in East Campus, lift the door lever with the VingCard inserted in the lock.
Electronic Locks Using University ID Cards
Magnetic Stripe Locks
To open the door, insert and remove the University ID card with the photo facing up and the magnetic strip on the right facing down. A green light should flash and the lock will open. The lock will automatically re-engage after approximately twenty seconds.
Room doors in upperclass suite-style suites are enabled with Passage Mode. To learn more about Passage Mode see Procedures - Passage Mode.
If your door is equipped with a proximity lock, slide your University ID card over the black box on the door. A green light should flash and the lock will open. The lock will automatically re-engage after approximately twenty seconds. If you receive a red light, please try again. If you experience any difficulties, please visit the Hospitality Desk at Hartley Hall. The lock will automatically re-engage after approximately twenty seconds.
Hard Key Locks
The Brownstones, Hartley, and Woodbridge all use traditional metal (hard) keys and mechanical locks.