Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services fixed a broken lock in the Quad that posed a safety issue for students on Feb. 6, following an inquiry from The Daily Pennsylvanian into the matter.
Since late November, a ground floor entrance door in Lippincott in Fisher Hassenfeld College House was unable to lock or stay closed, a problem that persisted for more than two months.
“FRES has been working to resolve the issue with the door at Lippincott for several weeks,” FRES Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance Faramarz Vakilizadeh wrote in an email to the DP on Feb. 6. “Our maintenance team has been waiting for specific parts that needed to be ordered. These parts have now arrived and installation at Lippincott has been completed as of today."
Quad resident and College freshman Callie Banksmith said the lock broke a few days after Thanksgiving. While the door was technically able to close, people needed to slam the door shut loudly, which caused a disturbance for other residents, Banksmith said. The door also frequently opened by itself at night.
“If someone’s coming in at 3 a.m. and they have to close it, everyone in the hall wakes up,” Banksmith said on Feb. 4.
Students also said the recent frigid weather was an inconvenience for them given that the door was unable to completely shut.
Banksmith said the halls were "freezing" and described students shivering in their towels on their way to and from the showers.
When students returned from winter break mid-January, they came back to a new sign on the door that read, “please close the door fully,” but the door’s inability to lock or stay closed through the night had not been addressed over winter break.
During "Big/Little" week for some sororities in January, security was an added concern for Lippincott residents. Anonymous "big sisters" showered their "littles" with gifts and decorations in their rooms while freshmen pledges were in class, which required freshman sorority members to prop their doors open with a padlock for portions of the day to allow their bigs to access their rooms, Banksmith said.
This, combined with the un-lockable ground floor entrance, caused Banksmith to worry that trespassers could get through the Quad gate from the street and break into her and other student's dorm rooms.
The freshman's graduate associate in Lippincott was also working on getting maintenance staff to fix the broken lock for more than two months — to no avail, Banksmith said.
Banksmith confirmed that the door was fixed by Wednesday afternoon, adding that the comfort and temperature of her hall have gotten "much better."
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