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Residential Access and Key Policy

In order to access the College Houses and Sansom Place, residents must present and swipe their PennCard and enter a 4-digit PAC code to pass through the security portal. The PAC code is a unique PIN that is randomly assigned to each resident.

Click to view your PAC Code, and if desired, to change it.

It is important that you do not share your PAC with others in order to protect the safety and security of our residences.

A mobile version of this application can be found at


Proper controls and documentation of key and key card use and building and room access are essential to the integrity of the overall safety and security of our residents and our communities.

Residential Services implements specific policies for the inventory, control and use of keys by residents, departmental staff, and other university personnel charged with providing emergency response, general maintenance and repair, the overall well being of residents and smooth operation of the facility.

Keys/key cards are documented as issued to the specific resident for the room to which they are assigned. Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, keys/key cards will be documented as issued to the specific resident for the room and specific bedroom within an apartment or suite to which they are assigned. Keys/key cards are issued for the use of the resident only.

It is unlawful for residents to duplicate any residential keys or to hand off keys to unauthorized persons for any purpose. Residents are held responsible for use or misuse of any keys or key cards issued to them.

It is expected that residents may lock themselves out periodically. Lock out keys are provided as a service but are inventoried and controlled with the same attention as a key issued at check in.

Repeated lock out requests often indicate the unreported loss of the originally issued key, a host providing unauthorized access to a room or apartment by a non resident or long term guest, or other irregularity related to room access that may compromise security. Fees will be assessed to residents who are found to be in violation of these policies. Additionally they may be referred to their House Dean or Director for follow up or additional action.

In the interests of personal and community security, residents should carry their room and card keys with them at all times and should keep doors locked when away from their rooms.


Room and mailbox keys, and/or card keys, will be issued to you when you move in at the beginning of occupancy. The acceptance of keys or a key card for room access constitutes a "move in" and should always accompany an official check in to the residential occupancy system at either an Info Center or other check in location.
 The acceptance of keys constitutes taking of occupancy, even if the resident does not stay in the room or place belongings there.

When moving out, residents must return all residential keys and check out at the Information Center. The Move Out is not complete if keys are not returned.  Residents who do not turn in their keys or who do not move out of their space by their deadline will be charged a $150/day late move-out fee plus room rent charges, until their move-out can be verified by a Residential Services employee. 

Residents who do not return their keys at move out are also subject to being charged for the changing of their locks.  Fees for this lock change will be at least $200.

Residents MUST report lost keys immediately to their Information Center.

To minimize potential security risks, the lock core on the room door will be changed and new keys will be issued.

In the areas where locks use a common brass key, fees to replace a lost brass key are $200 to cover the labor and material for cutting the key(s) and changing the core.   

In the case of electronic locks, the key card will be deactivated and a new card issued to the resident.  Fees to replace a lost key card will cost $25 per incident.

If a brass mailbox key is lost, the core will not be changed but $30 will be charged for replacement of the lost key.  Lost lounge and other common keys are handled on a case by case basis in consultation with the House Dean or Sansom Management.

Stolen room keys are considered lost keys and will require the lock be changed, costing $200.

Lockout keys and loaner cards are available at each Information Center. To obtain a spare key or loaner card, your identity and room assignment will be verified by the Info Center staff through presentation of your PennCard or an alternative form of valid identification.  If you do not have a PennCard, the Info Center staff will verify residency via other means.

You’ll be allowed to sign out the key for 1 hour. Lock out keys or cards will be provided at no charge for the first five requests.  However, failure to return the lockout key within the hour will result in a $25 fine. Residents may be asked to verify that they are in possession of their original room key by presenting it when they return the lock out key. 

When a resident exceeds five requests per semester, each new lock-out request will incur a resident fee of $35 per incident.

Failure to return a brass lockout key within 48-hours will result in an automatic core change.  Any key card is deemed lost when not returned within 48 hours and will result in a $25 lost card fee.


University-authorized personnel may be issued resident room keys in order to carry out routine maintenance and to perform other duties. The University reserves the right to enter resident rooms to conduct repairs, to perform inspections, to respond to emergencies or to restore order, as is noted in the Terms and Conditions.

Residents will be referred to the House Dean or Sansom Director if found responsible for the following: 
1.    Shows a pattern of repeatedly locking him or herself out of his or her room.
2.    Has tampered with any lock or door mechanism. This includes jamming or placing glue or other substances in locks or door mechanisms or removing room door hardware such as knobs or door closers. 
3.    Has installed additional lock(s) to doors, including individual apartment or suite bedroom.
4.    Has been found to have handed off keys or key cards (and PAC) for use by anyone other than him or herself. 

Residents of the College Houses and Sansom Place are expected to carry their PennCards at all times that they are on campus.

Residential Services and Division of Public Safety guidelines require residents to present their PennCards at either the security portal (or in Class of 1925, at the guard desk) to gain entry to their residence.

Residents who can not present their PennCard when entering must proceed to the Information Center of their house in order to sign in. The Information Center staff will verify their identity before allowing the resident to sign him or herself in.

To encourage residents to follow these policies more attentively, and to limit abuse of sign-in procedures, residents are limited to 10 free sign-ins per semester. When a resident exceeds 10 sign-ins in a semester, they will incur a fee of $35 for each sign-in. This will be applied to their Student Financial Services account.