Nics Master Key (Important!)

Micah Feiring ’11 sends this super important message regarding the loss of a Nics Master key. 

Dear classmates,

My name is Micah Feiring and I am your class representative to the WSA. As I am sure many of you know the RA master key to Nicolson Dorm was taken last week from a ResLife office. As a result, the university has decided to permanently re-key every Nicolson door over fall break. This clusterf**k situation is going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars—money that could be spent to help improve living conditions for students all over campus. As your Rep, I spend hours each week trying to scrape up money to improve student life. And its really depressing when something pointless like this threatens to waste so much of what I work towards saving. Besides ResLife funds, a significant environmental impact will result from the university disposing of so many locks for no reason. Therefore, I implore whoever took the key to return it anonymously. You can do this by dropping the key in an envelope addressed to the WSA and drop it off via intercampus mail. The WSA will then shred this envelope and bring the key to ResLife. I have spoken with the administration and no information from returning the key will be used to find the person responsible for the theft. The key needs to be returned before Friday.

This is a really shitty situation and I hope whoever has the key will have the decency to send it home.

Hoping for the best,

Micah

56 thoughts on “Nics Master Key (Important!)

  1. Anonymous

    for those of you shitting all over ResLife’s policies (and I rarely agree with them) the alternative is to take the keys out of the hands of RAs and go to a system where every time you get locked out you have to call PSafe to let you in. Its the system that used to be in place and it is a HUGE pain in the ass. Just because some fuckwad went to great lengths to get the key does not mean its an inherently bad system.

  2. Anonymous

    for those of you shitting all over ResLife’s policies (and I rarely agree with them) the alternative is to take the keys out of the hands of RAs and go to a system where every time you get locked out you have to call PSafe to let you in. Its the system that used to be in place and it is a HUGE pain in the ass. Just because some fuckwad went to great lengths to get the key does not mean its an inherently bad system.

  3. Anonymous

    The person who stole it in the first place is the one to blame. They are costing the University a massive amount of money…

  4. Anonymous

    The person who stole it in the first place is the one to blame. They are costing the University a massive amount of money…

  5. Anonymous

    sam, it might cost 10,000 to rekey but that’s like, what, three rooms/ five or six laptops? They have to do it.

  6. Anonymous

    sam, it might cost 10,000 to rekey but that’s like, what, three rooms/ five or six laptops? They have to do it.

  7. Anonymous

    given what you all said, why would you think the person would return the key? They clearly went to ridiculous measures to steal it in the first place, my only surprise is that nothing has been stolen yet. If they planned a heist in that detail, I don’t think a plea to their conscience is going to be effective.

  8. Anonymous

    given what you all said, why would you think the person would return the key? They clearly went to ridiculous measures to steal it in the first place, my only surprise is that nothing has been stolen yet. If they planned a heist in that detail, I don’t think a plea to their conscience is going to be effective.

  9. Mad Joy

    To those complaining about ResLife security: what else would you want ResLife to do? What would be more secure than the current system?There’s a pegboard in a LOCKED OFFICE, which only ResLife employees / other University employees (PSafe, Phys Plant) have the key to get into. In some dorms, it’s in a locked closet within that locked office.This pegboard acts as another key system – you need to have the right peg (and only a few RAs do for each one) to unlock the master key. These pegs are coded so that you can see who was the last person to take out the master key. The pegs are NOT wooden; they are hard plastic, I think, and probably specially treated to be difficult to break.Seriously, if you can think of a more secure system than that, that still allows RAs to retrieve the master key to deal with lockouts (very frequent), I’d be curious to know. This isn’t ResLife’s fault; this is whoever stole the key’s fault, who obviously went to some length to get it.

  10. Mad Joy

    To those complaining about ResLife security: what else would you want ResLife to do? What would be more secure than the current system?

    There’s a pegboard in a LOCKED OFFICE, which only ResLife employees / other University employees (PSafe, Phys Plant) have the key to get into. In some dorms, it’s in a locked closet within that locked office.

    This pegboard acts as another key system – you need to have the right peg (and only a few RAs do for each one) to unlock the master key. These pegs are coded so that you can see who was the last person to take out the master key. The pegs are NOT wooden; they are hard plastic, I think, and probably specially treated to be difficult to break.

    Seriously, if you can think of a more secure system than that, that still allows RAs to retrieve the master key to deal with lockouts (very frequent), I’d be curious to know. This isn’t ResLife’s fault; this is whoever stole the key’s fault, who obviously went to some length to get it.

  11. Anonymous

    It’s naive to assume that this is the only master key floating around. All kinds of people have master keys: Physical plant, Psafe, ABM cleaning staff (although they usually only have keys to academic buildings), and some of them are bound to be misplaced from time to time. A month or two ago, I found two enormous key rings in a utility closet that had been accidentially left unlocked by a P-Plant employee. While I found the employee who had left the keys and returned them to him, it occurred to me that were I to take them, I would have access to almost the entire university. Suppose I had been less honest, and had taken the keys. The P-Plant employee who lost them very well may have been fired. But I would not be surprised if the university decided not to publicize the theft, simply because the cost of re-keying the entire university would be prohibitive.

  12. Matt

    For those of you wondering what the hell a key peg is, I imagine the university has something like http://www.insight-security.com/key-plugboard.htmThese pictures show the key secured to the peg with a very thin wire. I hope that ResLife used a more secure solution. Any RAs want to give us some more details about how the pegboard system actually works? How is the key secured to the peg?

  13. Anonymous

    It’s naive to assume that this is the only master key floating around. All kinds of people have master keys: Physical plant, Psafe, ABM cleaning staff (although they usually only have keys to academic buildings), and some of them are bound to be misplaced from time to time.

    A month or two ago, I found two enormous key rings in a utility closet that had been accidentially left unlocked by a P-Plant employee. While I found the employee who had left the keys and returned them to him, it occurred to me that were I to take them, I would have access to almost the entire university.

    Suppose I had been less honest, and had taken the keys. The P-Plant employee who lost them very well may have been fired. But I would not be surprised if the university decided not to publicize the theft, simply because the cost of re-keying the entire university would be prohibitive.

  14. Matt

    For those of you wondering what the hell a key peg is, I imagine the university has something like http://www.insight-security.com/key-plugboard.htm

    These pictures show the key secured to the peg with a very thin wire. I hope that ResLife used a more secure solution. Any RAs want to give us some more details about how the pegboard system actually works? How is the key secured to the peg?

  15. Ben

    To everyone up in arms about the wooden peg: It’s not like someone can just walk in and remove the peg and key. The Argus article mentioned how the was “forcibly cut” (I’m paraphrasing) from the peg. If you read the RA manual on ResLife’s website, it mentions something about how the RAs have some sort of key trap thingy that releases the peg so they can take the master key. Considering how thick these keys are–about 1/8″–I’m amazed someone could actually cut it off from the peg–especially without anyone noticing, considering the time and tools it would take.And to third what Micah and Sam noted, the keys used in the Foss dorms/Fauver/Clark/woodframes are basically impossible to duplicate. All of the rooms in the Foss dorms were rekeyed in summer ’06. What I’d really like to know is whether they’ll have to rekey the outside doors, too–the doors to Nic 5, 5.5, and the 6/7 connector (not the exit doors–just the ones with card readers) use the same key system, though I’m not sure if they were rekeyed along with the rooms or earlier.

  16. Ben

    To everyone up in arms about the wooden peg: It’s not like someone can just walk in and remove the peg and key. The Argus article mentioned how the was “forcibly cut” (I’m paraphrasing) from the peg. If you read the RA manual on ResLife’s website, it mentions something about how the RAs have some sort of key trap thingy that releases the peg so they can take the master key. Considering how thick these keys are–about 1/8″–I’m amazed someone could actually cut it off from the peg–especially without anyone noticing, considering the time and tools it would take.

    And to third what Micah and Sam noted, the keys used in the Foss dorms/Fauver/Clark/woodframes are basically impossible to duplicate. All of the rooms in the Foss dorms were rekeyed in summer ’06. What I’d really like to know is whether they’ll have to rekey the outside doors, too–the doors to Nic 5, 5.5, and the 6/7 connector (not the exit doors–just the ones with card readers) use the same key system, though I’m not sure if they were rekeyed along with the rooms or earlier.

  17. Anonymous

    I could be wrong, but I don’t see anything in the Argus article about a “wooden peg.” It says that they were using a key pegboard.If it’s what I’m thinking, there are certain number of pegs/keys (usually colored) which can be used to unlock or remove the key from the pegboard. A set number of people are given particularly colored pegs. This way you know who was responsible for last taking the key.That said, ResLife should have taken greater precautions, but the thief certainly had jump through a number of steps. They first broke into an office and then were able to cut through a pegboard system that is specifically designed to make that difficult to do.Also, I think that ResLife understands that it’s their fault. They’re doing basically the best they can do in the situation, and footing the bill.

  18. Anonymous

    I could be wrong, but I don’t see anything in the Argus article about a “wooden peg.” It says that they were using a key pegboard.

    If it’s what I’m thinking, there are certain number of pegs/keys (usually colored) which can be used to unlock or remove the key from the pegboard. A set number of people are given particularly colored pegs. This way you know who was responsible for last taking the key.

    That said, ResLife should have taken greater precautions, but the thief certainly had jump through a number of steps. They first broke into an office and then were able to cut through a pegboard system that is specifically designed to make that difficult to do.

    Also, I think that ResLife understands that it’s their fault. They’re doing basically the best they can do in the situation, and footing the bill.

  19. Anonymous

    I have a couple of responses to all of what is being discussed here. Though I agree that it seems faulty to have such an important key be so precariously located, the argus article (that commenters here should have read, and is located at http://www.wesleyanargus.com/article/6971) does say that it’s a bit more secure than a “wooden peg.”Also, not one of the 15 comments here apportions any blame to the person who actually stole the key! Though good security measures by a campus office are of course important, let’s be real. Someone stole a key that puts over 100 people at risk! Let’s be angry that someone would do that, not that reslife was potentially reckless.

  20. Anonymous

    I have a couple of responses to all of what is being discussed here. Though I agree that it seems faulty to have such an important key be so precariously located, the argus article (that commenters here should have read, and is located at http://www.wesleyanargus.com/article/6971) does say that it’s a bit more secure than a “wooden peg.”
    Also, not one of the 15 comments here apportions any blame to the person who actually stole the key! Though good security measures by a campus office are of course important, let’s be real. Someone stole a key that puts over 100 people at risk! Let’s be angry that someone would do that, not that reslife was potentially reckless.

  21. Anonymous

    some keys are copy protected (it actually says on the key that it’s illegal to replicate it) but since it doesn’t say that on my key, it’s pretty hopeless.also… a wooden peg? a fucking wooden peg? are you serious, reslife? this is the kind of shit people SHOULD get fired over. or at least have the replacement pulled out of their asses. tuition? does this school not think that we pay enough (and for the shit that goes around)? even a fucking 13 year old would be smart enough to hide their lifetime savings of $5 in a safe.

  22. Anonymous

    some keys are copy protected (it actually says on the key that it’s illegal to replicate it) but since it doesn’t say that on my key, it’s pretty hopeless.

    also… a wooden peg? a fucking wooden peg? are you serious, reslife? this is the kind of shit people SHOULD get fired over. or at least have the replacement pulled out of their asses. tuition? does this school not think that we pay enough (and for the shit that goes around)? even a fucking 13 year old would be smart enough to hide their lifetime savings of $5 in a safe.

  23. Micah

    The Master Key is part of a a secure keyway system. Even if the locksmith disregards the “do not duplicate label,” the key cannot be copied without the proper keyway blank. This blank must be ordered by a lock smith licensed as a purchaser by the specific manufacturer. Obtaining master blanks is surprisingly difficult. Not only that, many keyways exist and identifying which keyway is correct is even more challenging. Hope this allays some fears and hope even more that the key is returned.- Micah

  24. Micah

    The Master Key is part of a a secure keyway system. Even if the locksmith disregards the “do not duplicate label,” the key cannot be copied without the proper keyway blank. This blank must be ordered by a lock smith licensed as a purchaser by the specific manufacturer. Obtaining master blanks is surprisingly difficult. Not only that, many keyways exist and identifying which keyway is correct is even more challenging. Hope this allays some fears and hope even more that the key is returned.

    – Micah

  25. Sam

    According to what ResLife has told us, the key can’t (physically) be duplicated, which is why it’ll take so long for completely new locks to get ordered and put in–although I have absolutely no idea how that’s supposed to work (if that is indeed what they were saying).Also, isaac, it will be significantly more than $1,000. The labor costs alone almost certainly top $1000. Each lock probably costs an absolute minimum of $25 (and probably closer to 50-75), and each key is probably around $10, again, at minimum. Even then you’re looking at $10,000 with everything included–and I’d be willing to bet that the actual cost will be at least twice that.

  26. Sam

    According to what ResLife has told us, the key can’t (physically) be duplicated, which is why it’ll take so long for completely new locks to get ordered and put in–although I have absolutely no idea how that’s supposed to work (if that is indeed what they were saying).

    Also, isaac, it will be significantly more than $1,000. The labor costs alone almost certainly top $1000. Each lock probably costs an absolute minimum of $25 (and probably closer to 50-75), and each key is probably around $10, again, at minimum. Even then you’re looking at $10,000 with everything included–and I’d be willing to bet that the actual cost will be at least twice that.

  27. Isaac

    On the other hand, this plea might get the thief to return the key, though only after they replicated it. Because if they return it, they can use the copy forever. If not, they only have until fall break.

  28. Isaac

    On the other hand, this plea might get the thief to return the key, though only after they replicated it. Because if they return it, they can use the copy forever. If not, they only have until fall break.

  29. Isaac

    No anon 12:17, Jacon is saying the thief could just have the key replicated before they returned it. Which is so obvious I’m surprised ResLife is even trying to pass this off as a solution to the problem. Reslife: The master key was stolen. You have to re-key all the locks. It’s your fault for lax security. Suck it up, and pay the thousand or whatever. It’s probably not too much more than that, which makes this a cheap mistake compared to if people’s stuff gets stolen because of this.

  30. Isaac

    No anon 12:17, Jacon is saying the thief could just have the key replicated before they returned it. Which is so obvious I’m surprised ResLife is even trying to pass this off as a solution to the problem.

    Reslife: The master key was stolen. You have to re-key all the locks. It’s your fault for lax security. Suck it up, and pay the thousand or whatever. It’s probably not too much more than that, which makes this a cheap mistake compared to if people’s stuff gets stolen because of this.

  31. Anonymous

    But they don’t just want it replicated, they want to make sure that the stolen master key can’t be used to get into everyone’s rooms.

  32. Anonymous

    But they don’t just want it replicated, they want to make sure that the stolen master key can’t be used to get into everyone’s rooms.

  33. Anonymous

    Um… as Jacon said — A few dollars on the side and they’ll just have the key replicated. The fact that someone stole the key from a reslife office speaks more to the security that reslife and the university have set up than to the nature of a college living environment. failpeter

  34. Anonymous

    Um… as Jacon said — A few dollars on the side and they’ll just have the key replicated. The fact that someone stole the key from a reslife office speaks more to the security that reslife and the university have set up than to the nature of a college living environment. fail

    peter

  35. Anonymous

    Agreed 12:08. The Argus article said it was forcibly taken off a wooden peg. A wooden peg for a key that unlocks 150+ student’s rooms??

  36. Anonymous

    Agreed 12:08. The Argus article said it was forcibly taken off a wooden peg. A wooden peg for a key that unlocks 150+ student’s rooms??

  37. Anonymous

    how is the RA master key stolen just like that? and from a reslife office? this is clearly not the student’s fault but the administration’s.

  38. Anonymous

    how is the RA master key stolen just like that? and from a reslife office? this is clearly not the student’s fault but the administration’s.

  39. Anonymous

    Sorry if the message was not clear. THE WSA IS NOT PAYING FOR THE STOLEN KEY. The money is coming from the university. However, the money needs to come from somewhere (probably next years tuition or more budget cuts). In this economy its irresponsible to flush tens of thousands of dollars for no reason.–Micah

  40. Anonymous

    Sorry if the message was not clear. THE WSA IS NOT PAYING FOR THE STOLEN KEY. The money is coming from the university. However, the money needs to come from somewhere (probably next years tuition or more budget cuts). In this economy its irresponsible to flush tens of thousands of dollars for no reason.

    –Micah

  41. Jacon

    Worst solution ever! Master keys are marked/apparent, obviously, but locksmith’s ain’t exactly the most honest group. A 30 minute drive, and a hundred bucks would let the WSA (wtf?) keep their money, and the thief keep their key. Everybody’s happy except the people who live in Nicolson.

  42. Jacon

    Worst solution ever! Master keys are marked/apparent, obviously, but locksmith’s ain’t exactly the most honest group. A 30 minute drive, and a hundred bucks would let the WSA (wtf?) keep their money, and the thief keep their key. Everybody’s happy except the people who live in Nicolson.

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