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Roommate constantly locks the door

michplusdichmichplusdich 128 replies60 threads Junior Member
edited January 2013 in College Life
I know this is a silly issue, but its driving me nuts and I was wondering if this situation is normal. Instead of having a roommate who forgets to lock the door, they lock the door constantly. When they go to take a shower, put the trash in a hallway container or even to the bathroom sometimes (which is literally fifty feet down the hall), they take their keys with them. Then when they come back the unlock the door and re-lock it. They also do this when they are doing the laundry, which is not far away either. Even when they are going to be in the room for a considerable amount of time, they keep the door locked. I have even noticed that if I come into the room and leave with the door unlocked (and they stay in there), and I come back, they lock the door in that time period that I was gone.

I really don't understand why this is necessary, ESPECIALLY when somebody is in the room - it's not like somebody's going to try and steal your stuff if you are in the room. It's extremely annoying and inconvenient to constantly unlock the door in cases when it shouldn't be locked. There have been circumstances in which I was getting ready for classes in the morning and the roommate locked the door before they left, and I have accidentally shut the door and been locked out of the room and have to get a spare. I should also mention that you have to have a key to get on the floor and that the dorm is not in the projects or anything, so the chances of anybody getting in the room who shouldn't be are low. I also like having the door open when I am in my room, and whenever my roommate comes back they immediately shut the door and lock it, which I also find extremely annoying. I tried an experiment one day over the course of a couple of hours in which I would come to the door (when they were in the room for the whole time), and the door would be locked and I would jiggle the knob without even attempting to unlock the door. All three times, they decided they should get up from what they are doing and open the door instead of letting me in and then unlocking it. Why would you get up and open the door instead of unlocking it the first couple of times???

Once again, I know this is a silly situation, but I wanted to know if this is normal or if I am overreacting.
edited January 2013
17 replies
Post edited by michplusdich on
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Replies to: Roommate constantly locks the door

  • aqsewfqqaqsewfqq 467 replies7 threads Member
    Some of that seems weird (shutting the door all the time, locking it when they are inside), but they might not think so. Both dorms I've been in had doors that automatically lock behind you, so I always have a key when I leave my room. It's not that inconvenient, takes a few seconds at most, though it does get annoying sometimes. This dorm has the bathrooms locked too.

    Have you talked to them about it? Sounds like not, try that first. Maybe they are very shy. Or doing illegal things.
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  • purpleacornpurpleacorn 1496 replies63 threads Senior Member
    I actually had this situation with my roommate, though I was the 'other' person in this situation who insisted on my door being closed at all times (my door locks automatically as it shuts). I am just not comfortable with the door being open, even if I'm only going to get laundry or visiting somebody else down the hall. I have a lot of stuff in my room, including electronics and other things of value, and I can't afford to replace them should they be stolen/damaged. I have a key on a lanyard next to the light switch and automatically grab it on my way out of the door and hang it around my neck-- other friends of mine keep it around the doorknob or other ways. I think your roommate is well within his/her rights to lock the door when nobody is in the room, even if it is only down a hallway, and this used to be a pet peeve of mine that my roommate would constantly think that her key was unnecessary. I'm sorry, but just keep your key with you whenever you step out of the room. Get a lanyard, a bracelet, something, but your roommate shouldn't constantly be having to open the door for you-- just unlock the darn door yourself.

    With regards to the locking while somebody is in the room, I don't have an answer, as again, my door locks as a matter of course. Thinking about it, however, I am the kind of person who very firmly sees my room as 'quiet-me' time, and even with a door shut, I am easily distracted by people in the hallway and around-- even people walking down the hallway can distract me and throw me off. In thinking about it, I think I'd also be the kind of person who kept her door locked, especially if it is the norm for people to come in without knocking. Again, this has to do with a control-of-environment 'trigger' I have, and I would probably be uncomfortable with the idea that anybody can just walk into 'my' space without me letting them in.

    As you can see, a lot of this has to do with my personality and how I treat my room (as a desperately needed quiet isolation-space where I recharge and not deal with the world). That may not be how you see your room, but I encourange you to talk to your roommate nonetheless. You might be able to hear her reasons, and you might express your own. But letting things like this fester is a recipe for disaster (and she may very well be thinking the opposite about you).
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  • juilletjuillet 12693 replies161 threads Super Moderator
    Personally, I sometimes locked my room door if I was in the room because I didn't want people entering without permission. Maybe your roommate is the same way. I do think you are overreacting a little bit, perhaps out of a desire to not have to carry your keys around.

    I think you should compromise. I am a strong advocate of always locking your door when you leave the room and no one's there, even if you are just going to shower or do laundry or use the bathroom. You never know who is inside your residence hall - "not being in the projects" isn't an excuse, since it isn't only poor people who steal. College students and their friends steal things, too.

    But maybe you can talk with your roommate about leaving the door unlocked while one or both of you is in the room.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79097 replies703 threads Senior Member
    juillet wrote:
    You never know who is inside your residence hall - "not being in the projects" isn't an excuse, since it isn't only poor people who steal. College students and their friends steal things, too.

    And thieves apparently know that college students are often quite careless about locking their doors, as many of them grew up in low crime areas. So college dorms tend to attract thieves.

    Perhaps your roommate grew up in a higher crime area and is used to locking everything.
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  • michplusdichmichplusdich 128 replies60 threads Junior Member
    While I can where you are coming from about locking the door when you are in the room so that people do not enter without permission, nobody has ever done that. Literally. NEVER. Regardless of whether the door was locked or unlocked. I just feel that when I go back to my room and they are in there with the door locked, and I have to unlock it, and then when I leave they immediately get up and re-lock it so that I have to unlock the door again when I come back is a bit ridiculous and inconsiderate. I talked to them about it last semester when I got locked out of the room. I was taking a shower and they went somewhere and locked the door. I was stuck outside in the hall with just a towel on and my RA had to go downstairs and get a spare key for me. It got somewhat better, but now they have started constantly locking the door again, so I wonder if they will even listen.
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  • DDHMDDHM 529 replies0 threads Member
    Why don't you ask the dorm faculty or campus police whether there is any theft in your dorm's rooms? I know people who have had money stolen out of wallets while they were asleep inside their unlocked dorm rooms or visiting in the room next door. Your roommate may not be paranoid but merely risk averse and potentially wise.
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  • steellord321steellord321 349 replies0 threads Member
    It's not nuts at all. Someone I know at a nearby college, twice already this year has had some random thief just walk in with the door unlocked, and he happened to be in the room. Now the 2nd time he chased this guy down to get a physical description to report. Imagine the thief had a weapon though. This doesn't happen here cause the doors autolock and there's a key code, like at hotels. This change was made entirely because of thieves and rapists walking into unlocked rooms, even with the dorms locking. Plus peeping toms in the bathrooms. Just bring a key with you. That's not asking much.
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 33394 replies767 threads Senior Member
    I'm really with your roommate. It's dumb to ever leave your room unlocked even when you're just going to be gone "a few minutes". It takes less than a minute to grab something out of your room and it happens all the time.

    And yes, people will walk in to your room without knocking at very, um, inconvenient times.

    ALWAYS take your keys with you. Even to the shower.

    IMO, you're overreacting.
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  • gibsonlp223gibsonlp223 17 replies1 threads New Member
    Yeah you can never be too careful in situations like that, just keep your keys with you at all times, you might thank him later.
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  • MiniKittyMiniKitty 81 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I agree with your roommate. I had a roommate that never locked the door. You seriously cannot be so trusting of the environment. Besides, if something of theirs gets stolen because you leave it unlocked then that'd a bad situation to be in. Leaving it locked just minimizes risk.
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  • oldfortoldfort 23012 replies292 threads Senior Member
    There was a thread a while back where the RM asked the poster's daughter to leave the door unlocked when she went to sleep because the RM was just going to be in the lounge. The RM's laptop got stolen that evening and the RM was holding the poster's daughter responsible for replacing the laptop. There was a lot of debate about who should be responsible.

    Think about it, if your RM left the door unlocked and something valuable of yours got stolen, who would you blame?
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  • zobrowardzobroward 3741 replies193 threads Senior Member
    you need a single room. why colleges and many hospitals think you need a room mate is beyond me. why not have all student live in barracks?
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  • sopranokittysopranokitty 1490 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Sorry, but I'm going to have to side with your roommate. The door should be locked at ALL times, even if you're just taking the trash out, doing laundry, or taking a shower, because it takes LESS than 2 minutes for a thief to enter an unlocked room and take what they want if they know what they're looking for. Let's put this into perspective. Last year, one of my suitemate's boyfriend's suitemates had his Macbook Pro stolen in the middle of the night when he briefly went over to his suitemates' room. My suitemate was an initial suspect, but they ruled her out because she already had a Macbook Pro of her own (and her roommate and I knew about it since we had seen her with her Macbook Pro since the beginning of the school year) and she had been either with us (her suitemates and roommate), in class, or with her boyfriend the whole time. When the theft happened, the suitemate who had his laptop stolen had suitemates in the other room who didn't realize anything had happened since they didn't hear anything going on.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    I'm with the roommate. Take your keys. If you need a thing to go around your neck to make that handy (so you can hang it on the shower hook, etc.), then get one.
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  • LivingOxymoronLivingOxymoron 209 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Door locking freak here. It's just a safety/common sense issue. You lock the door when you leave the room so no one has the chance to go in and take your stuff and you lock it when you're in there so no one but your roommate(s) can enter uninvited. My dorm has double key swipes to get into the building and to get onto your floor, but people who don't live there come inside all the time. They just wait and walk in behind someone with a card. You can't just assume that you and your stuff are automatically safe just because there are some security measures.

    Take your keys with you when you leave the room so you don't get locked out. It literally takes 3 seconds to unlock a door. I'm sure you'd be much more upset if your roommate left the door open when she went to the bathroom and someone came in and stole something of yours.
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  • BigwigBigwig 318 replies3 threads Member
    Your roommate sounded pretty much like me freshman year. Now I have those fancy doors that automatically lock and need a card swipe.

    I see no problem with it. Is it really that hard to keep a key with you and to unlock a door?
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  • fendergirlfendergirl 4620 replies159 threads Senior Member
    Take your key with you. Its Better to lock then not to lock.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using CC
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