CSU Policy: Building Access, Security and Keys

Policy Title: Building Access, Security and Keys Category: Public Safety/Risk Management
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 6-6030-007
Facilities Management Key Desk
Web: http://www.fm.colostate.edu/keys
Phone: (970) 491-0041
Original Effective Date: 8/25/2003
Supersedes Policy ID#: 6-01012009-1.01
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The purpose of this Policy is to provide a reasonable level security for Colorado State University (CSU) campus buildings and facilities, while recognizing that ease of access is critical to the campus community. The Policy will establish and maintain specific requirements for the issuance, use and return of keys and key cards, and to provide orderly and appropriate processes for access to buildings and facilities.


This Policy applies to all campus units except as provided herein. It replaces and supersedes the KEYS, MASTER KEYS AND CARD ACCESS POLICY contained in the Building Proctor Manual.


As detailed in the Policy, certain facilities (Housing and Dining, Lory Student Center) are exempt to the extent that their own policies and procedures are followed in lieu of those contained herein.


Access Device. Any key or key card (as defined herein) that enables access to any lock, whether mechanical or electronic, for any door, access panel, building, facility, or other access point owned or controlled by the University.

Access System. Any group or system of locks and keys, whether mechanical or electronic, that can be used and/or controlled with a single, master key or key card.

Key Card. A card containing one or more magnetic stripes, computer chips, or other technology that may be used to operate an electronic access control system on campus. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, “key card” includes proximity keys, RamCards, and all other such electronic access devices.

Key Desk. The unit within the Department of Facilities Management that is charged with the responsibility for issuing keys, key cards and other access devices, and is responsible for implementing and enforcing this Policy.

RamCard. An official identification card for a student, employee, or affiliate of the University, issued by the CSU RamCard Office. RamCards can be issued to function as key cards, as well as providing other functionality; for example, as bank cards.

Individual Key or Key Card Access Setting. A single key that allows access to one room.

Sub-Master Key or Key Card Access Setting. A key or key card that allows access to a series of locks/rooms on a particular access control system. Issuance of this type of access device is restricted due to increased security risk.

Building Master Key or Key Card Access Setting. A key that allows access into most locks/rooms within a building with the exception of mechanical areas, custodial closets, etc.

University Master Key or Key Card Access Setting. A single device that allows access to all buildings and rooms in an access control system, including mechanical areas, custodial closets, roofs, outside doors, etc. Master key systems include Corbin, Sergeant, Emhart, BEST and Medeco, among others. Issuance of this type of access device is restricted due to high security risk.


  1. It is the policy of Colorado State University to maintain centralized management and control of all keys and key cards that enable access to University buildings and facilities, in order to help protect the safety and security of persons and property. Centralized control responsibilities are primarily assigned to the Key Desk unit within the Department of Facilities Management. Other campus units, including (but not limited to) Housing and Dining Services, CSU Police Department (CSUPD), RamCard Office, Academic Computing and Network Services (ACNS), Lory Student Center (LSC), and Human Resource Services (HRS) all have roles and responsibilities in supporting this Policy, as detailed below.
  1. All locks, keys, key cards, electronic access devices and access codes are the sole property of CSU. Colorado State University reserves the right to change locks, keys, key cards and access codes at any time. No one may place a lock on any CSU building, facility, or access point without the prior, written permission of the Director of Facilities Management or higher authority. All keys must be returned to the Key Desk upon any of the following circumstances: termination of employment; change of assignment location; suspension (employment or academic); expulsion, enrollment or withdrawal from the institution; and any other circumstance in which it is determined that the Key Holder no longer requires or is to be allowed access to the specified areas. Key Manager must be notified when key cards are lost or stolen so they can be deactivated.
  1. Disclaimer. Use of a keyless access system may create a log of ingress and egress to the particular room or facility accessed. The ability to routinely monitor and review these logs is limited to administrators in Academic Computing and Network Services, Facilities Management and Departments solely for the purpose of maintenance of the system and key card accountability. This data may also be released to the Colorado State University Police Department or other law enforcement, emergency response agencies and offices to further the security of the institution. While the purpose for the accumulation of ingress and egress data is not to formulate the basis for employment decisions, individual employees should not maintain an expectation of privacy as to such data.


  1. All keys to University buildings and facilities are to be issued by, and returned to, the Key Desk.
  2. It is a violation of this Policy for any Key Holder to transfer a key to someone else.
  3. It is a violation to duplicate or attempt to duplicate a key, lend it to someone else, or allow it to be used for any purpose that the Key Holder knows or should know is improper.
  4. Keys must be returned to the Key Desk, or to Housing and Dining Services or the Lory Student Center, as the case may be, whenever any of the following occurs (Key Manager must be notified when key cards are lost or stolen so they can be deactivated):

          a.  Faculty and staff members:

               i.    Upon transfer to another building.

               ii.   Upon termination of employment.

               iii.  Upon retirement from the University,

               iv.  At the request of the Building Proctor, Department Key Manager, Facilities Management or CSU Police Department.

          b.   Emeritus faculty:

               i.    Upon relinquishing assigned office and/or lab space.

          c.  Employees on extended leave:

               i.   The expiration date has been exceeded.

               ii.   At the request of the Building Proctor, Department Key Manager, Facilities Management or CSU Police Department.

          d.  Students:

               i.  At the end of the academic semester or period.

              ii.  At the request of the Building Proctor, Department Key Manager, Facilities Management or CSU Police Department.

         e.  Contractors:

               i.  Upon termination of University business.

              ii.  The expiration date has been exceeded.

             iii.  At the request of the Building Proctor, Department Key Manager, Facilities Management or CSU Police Department.

  1. Anyone who has possession of a key that was not issued to them by the Key Desk should report that to the Key Desk for necessary updates to University records.
  2. If an employee leaves a department and turns his or her key into the department staff or department head, that person is responsible for promptly reporting it to the Key Desk, and returning it if required.
  3. All key cards are issued either by Housing and Dining Services, the LSC, or the Key Desk, except for RamCards issued directly to students by the RamCard Office. The issuing office may issue the key cards to a department Key Manager for distribution to the correct recipients, in which case, the Key Manager and Department Head will be fully responsible for those key cards. The same rules apply to key cards as to keys, above.
  4. Any CSU employee who learns of the loss, theft or misuse of a key or key card is required to report it to the Key Desk.
  5. Only the Director of Facilities, Executive Director of Housing and Dining Services, Chief of CSUPD, Lory Student Center Director, and the Vice President for University Operations can have, or authorize someone else to have, a Master, Sub-master or Building Master key or key card access status. The Key Desk or other issuing office will issue the appropriate key or key card access setting.
  6. Any time there is a need to change locks because of missing keys, the department whose employee was issued the missing key is responsible for the cost.
  7. RamCards are subject to the policies and procedures of the RamCard Office. This Policy applies to RamCards only insofar as it does not conflict with an approved RamCard policy or procedure.
  8. All access systems require the prior approval of Facilities Management before being purchased, installed, changed or removed. All keys and key cards, other than those issued by Housing and Dining Services, Lory Student Center, or RamCard Office, must be issued by Facilities Management.
  9. All lost or stolen keys must be reported within 24 hours to the Facilities Management Key Desk where a police report must be filed, in person. Lost or stolen key cards must be reported to Facilities Management or the Department Key Manager in order to deactivate the card. All lost or stolen keys issued by the RamCard Office, Housing and Dining Services, the LSC, or other must be reported to their offices.
  10. Broken or worn out keys must be returned to Facilities Management where a replacement will be issued. Housing and Dining Services, the LSC or other will replace keys issued by their offices.
  11. Default restricted access hours for all campus buildings will be 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM weeknights and through the weekend. Temporary or permanent alternate access hours can be set by Facilities Management with input from Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Building Proctors as appropriate.

       a.  Individuals issued keys are expected to use them properly to lock and unlock facilities for which they have been authorized access. Building occupants who do not have keys with them or have not been issued keys are expected to contact the Building Proctor for access to the building or rooms during business hours.

      b.  People, who are locked out of their offices, labs or other, during business hours, must contact their department office, proctor, department head or dean for access. On-call or other available staff should handle lock out when possible in Housing and Dining facilities.

      c.  Anyone wishing to enter a building, classroom, or office during restricted access hours must have been issued their own keys. Units and areas that operate within these closure hours must staff the area or make arrangement for access with appropriate personnel in advance. CSU Police Department will only unlock doors after business hours when proctors are unavailable and the following conditions exist:

        i.   A life-threatening situation (i.e. medical, personal safety). The   requesting party must provide proper identification.

       ii.   Other emergency (i.e. locked out with keys inside building). The requesting party must provide proper identification and proctor or responsible person authorization.


Approved by Anthony Frank, July 28, 2011


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