Mills students, faculty, and staff may receive keys to specific facilities on campus, such as classrooms, labs, lounges, and practice rooms, after an appropriate key request is submitted and approved. To simplify this process, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding keys at Mills.
How are keys requested and distributed?
The professor, supervisor, or department head of the employee must initiate all key requests.
Key approvals can only be made by a department head or higher. Key requests are made to the Housing Management and Dining Services (HMDS) email address (email@example.com), or by completing a Key Request Form. Please allow up to 72 hours for processing before keys are ready. Please submit a new request for each set of keys you are requesting.
For an employee to receive keys, they must be in the Banner system and must have set up their Mills email. The employee information will not import into our system until they have set up their email. This must also be done in order to receive a Mills ID card, which must be created prior to keys being distributed. For students to receive keys, they must have a clear Student Account and present their Mills ID.
If the key is in stock, we will notify the requester that the employee or student may pick it up and sign it out from the HMDS Office (Sage Hall 138). If the key is not in stock, a key request will be made by HMDS and a notification sent to the requestor informing them of the delay. Please allow three to four business days for new keys to be made. An email will be sent to the supervisor/key requester when the key is ready.
All students and employees are required to present their Mills ID when picking up keys. The student or employee will sign the Key Request Form agreeing to the key holder’s responsibilities. Keys cannot be signed out on someone else’s behalf.
Who is required to pay a key deposit?
Interns, volunteers, contractors, temporary employees, visiting artists, and guest lecturers will be assessed a $25 per key deposit. The maximum deposit is $75 per person for three or more keys. Payment of key deposits may be taken in cash, Visa, Mastercard, or a check made out to Mills College. Upon returning the key by the approved deadline, deposits will be refunded in a form designated by HMDS/Finance (typically cash, check rebate, or through credit card refund).
How can I sign out a Seminary/pedestrian gate key?
Mills students, staff, and faculty are eligible to receive a Seminary/pedestrian gate key. Mills students, staff, and faculty must show their Mills ID card. The Seminary Gate locks are changed every other summer so anyone having this key must exchange it when notified via email
Lounge keys may be signed out by current Mills College students who meet the eligibility requirements for each lounge and have completed the Lounge Key Access list. This document is available to students through their Student Portal. The lounges are run & maintained by OSA (Office of Student Activities), but keys are distributed through HMDS. Completing the Lounge Key Access list, having a clear student account, and presenting a valid Mills ID enables students to sign out lounge keys. Lounge keys are due back to HMDS at the end of each academic year. Lounge keys are not available over the Summer as all of the lounges go offline during that time.
These keys are issued beginning on the Wednesday of the second week after classes commence. The sponsoring faculty member and department head sends HMDS an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) listing the students who have access or a signed Key Request Form for each student.
The request must identify:
-Specific buildings and room numbers to which each student needs access
-Specific deadline for the keys to be returned
-Banner # (B00XXXXXX)
Since we have multiple copies of most standard classroom keys, turn-around times are relatively quick, but please wait for a reply from email@example.com before sending students/staff/faculty to our office. After approvals have been received and the keys are deemed available, departments will be notified by HMDS that the keys are ready for pick up. It is the responsibility of each individual department to notify their students/staff/faculty to pick up keys at the HMDS office noting that students/staff/faculty must bring their Mills ID and student must additionally make sure that their student account is clear.
How do we get a key to the Innovation Lab & access the materials inside?
The Innovation Lab is a high-security area and may be accessible to classes requiring specialized equipment or environment. The Registrar, along with Events will assist in scheduling these classes. Keys to this space are not checked out to students. No Carnegie front door key or key to the Innovation Lab itself will be issued.
Professors holding classes in this space have the option to utilize the technology available. If professors elect to use the technology, they must first be trained by ITS and must contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule training. A key will be issued to access the technology cart for the duration of the semester once HMDS have been notified via email by ITS that the professor has completed their training. HMDS will issue the technology key to the professor with the return deadline being the end of the current semester. DPS will unlock and lock the front door to Carnegie as well as the Innovation Lab approximately 15 minutes before and after the class reservation. Class reservations done on short notice that do not have the ability to be trained by ITS prior to class, will not be given a key to the technology cart.
For single use reservations through 25Live, requesters have the option to utilize the technology available for the time requested in the reservation form. Requests must be approved by the Events Coordinator both for the space and for the technology cart. Once the reservation is approved, the requester is required to be trained by ITS by contacting email@example.com. Once they have completed this training, ITS will sign out a technology key for the duration of the event. ITS will set the deadline for this key and it should be returned to the ITS department. DPS will unlock and lock the front door to Carnegie, as well as the Innovation Lab approximately 15 minutes before and after the reservation. Reservations made on short notice that do not have the ability to be trained by ITS prior to the reservation, will not be given the technology cart key.
Why do we need approvals and signatures in order to release keys?
HMDS and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) need to know that a recipient of a key is authorized to enter those areas. This is critical to maintaining a safe and secure campus. Only faculty, staff, and students working for or attending the College have a right to access the facilities. Department heads and supervisors must take care in granting access on a limited basis so recipients have only the access they need.
How do I put in a request for more keys to be cut, or ask for a lock change?
All requests for additional keys, master keys, and lock changes must go through HMDS. HMDS will ensure that all the proper approvals are in place and that the correct keys are being distributed. Do not submit a work order. If you submit a work order, it will be canceled and not forwarded to HMDS.
How do I request a master key?
All master key requests must be approved by your department head. This is the same process used for all key requests (see “How are keys requested and distributed?”). After the department head submits the request, HMDS will contact the Director of Auxiliary Services to review the request. A notice will be sent to the requester and department head letting them know whether the master key request has been approved and how and when to pick it up.
Why does HMDS charge for missing keys?
Lost keys are very expensive to replace. Often rooms and/or buildings must be re-keyed in the event of a lost key. The missing key charges help to offset this expense. Each key has a $25 replacement fee if lost. In some cases, lost or stolen keys can result in fines of $100 or more per key if a lock change is required. If a key has been stolen, and a police report is filed, HMDS may waive the cost of rekeying a lock and an ID replacement. However, the $25 replacement fee will not be waived.
Replacement Key Fee Structure: (per key)
Grand Masters–assessed on a case-by-case basis
Building Master–$500 minimum
Art/Music/Book Arts–$100 (without a lock change)
Housing Key–$100 (requires lock change)
Non-Housing Key–$25 *(with exception to departments above)
What do I do with my keys when I leave Mills?
When you leave the College, all keys must be returned to the HMDS office. If any keys are missing or not returned, you will be charged $25 (minimum) per key. The fine could increase to $100 or more per key if a lock change is required. Lost or unreturned Book Arts, Art, and Music keys cost $100 per key. The cost of lost building master keys will be a minimum of $500; if multiple locks need to be changed the individual will pay for each lock change at a cost of a $100 each. Master keys are extremely expensive, so take great care if you receive one.
If you are leaving the College you must return all your keys to HMDS.
I have a bunch of keys that I never use and am not sure what they open. What do I do with them?
Return any keys that no longer work, or are not in use, to the HMDS office. Fines for missing keys signed out prior to 2006 will not be charged. Be sure to keep your receipt documenting the key return, so there is a record that you returned the key and you will not be fined at a later date.
I have changed positions and would like to give some keys to a coworker, how do I do that?
Transferring keys can only be done in either of the following ways:
1.) Have a new request put in by the coworker’s supervisor with department head approval through firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out a Key Request Form (may be picked up at HMDS). Once this has been received by HMDS, we will notify for both parties to come in to perform the exchange. We will mark in the keys for the employee returning them and provide a receipt. After this, we will sign out the keys to the employee receiving the keys.
2.) The department head can send an email to HMDS describing the key exchange with specific key codes of each key and copying both the present holder of the keys and the future holder of the keys. Then both present and future holders of the keys must “reply all” that they are in agreement. HMDS will then update each individual person’s key forms and the individuals can then exchange the keys. No receipt is given. Note: The future key holder is now responsible for those keys, so if something is discovered later, the future key holder will be charged.