New locks may hinder deliveries

by Sarah Betts | 5/13/02 5:00am

With the institution of the new door-lock system in the fall, vendors will no longer be able to deliver to students' dorm rooms.

Use of the College's ID cards to gain access to dormitories for commercial purposes will be prohibited by new policy set in place by the Office of Residential life.

Both restaurant delivery persons and students distributing publications will be banned from in-dorm delivery.

Because the doors will be opened with coded student ID cards, delivery persons won't be able to enter the dorms unless a student allows them in. According to Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman, requiring delivery persons to stop at the front door insures security and privacy and stems from a current rule that bans solicitation within dormitories.

"When I order from Panda House, they deliver it to my door," Redman said. "They don't deliver it to my bedroom. The New York Times comes to the doorstep, too."

Newly installed phone boxes outside each residence hall will allow drivers to call students and notify them of their arrival. The student can then open the dorm door. While a delivery person who is also a Dartmouth student would be able to open the door with an ID card, this would be in violation of the proposed policy concerning the locks, Redman said.

"Anyone delivering to the rooms is a vendor, and as a result, can't use the card," he added. "Unless they have a contract with the institution, they will not be allowed to continue to deliver to rooms."

According to Redman, to allow students to use their IDs to deliver items in the dorms would create an unfair business practice.

"When you are delivering something, you are acting as an employee, not a student," he said.

This policy applies not only to students working as drivers for businesses, but to those delivering campus publications as well. Publications such as The Dartmouth Review will no longer be permitted to leave papers at students' rooms.

The Review's editor-in-chief, John Scholer '04, said that the publication plans to continue its door delivery in spite of the policy. While he has not yet been in contact with Redman, Scholer added that he does not foresee a problem.

"Basically, we dealt with this when we were delivering before Winter Carnival and the doors were locked," Scholer said. "We never had to wait for more than a few minutes before being let in."

According to Redman, however, student publications will be treated as solicitors for the purpose of the policy, and will be asked to cease delivery inside the dorms. This will apply to both independent and college-owned publications. While there have not yet been discussions of the policy with various publications, he said that the issue will be addressed within a few weeks.

"We will work with them to find appropriate delivery locations," Redman said.

The College could address violations of this policy by reprogramming the offending student's card for access only to the residence hall in which he or she lives, Redman said. A business employing a student driver who opens the dorm doors with an ID card would be notified of the violation and could eventually be prohibited from making campus deliveries.

Ramunto's night manager Sean Eastman said that the new policy will create a "huge inconvenience."

"It will affect how promptly we deliver," Eastman said.

EBA's owner Jimbo Dowd, however, said that he welcomes the new locks since the restaurant's liability would decrease if delivery persons no longer enter the dorms.

The restaurant would no longer have to concern itself with the possibility of accusations of misconduct by delivery persons in dorms, Dowd explained.

"It will be more of a hassle, but in the long run I think it will be a good thing," Dowd said. "Most of our drivers have cell phones, and they can call when they arrive."