Walking into Holloway Commons (HoCo) from the side of the MUB, visitors notice the relatively new electronic lockers that were installed as a part of the recent expansion of the dining hall. The keyless lockers, made by National Lockers and Shelving, were installed to “make [students’] lives easier,” according to UNH Dining’s website, and are intended to provide community members with a convenient and safe storage space for their belongings while they enjoy a HoCo meal.
Prior to spring break, the lockers operated with fingerprint vending technology. Students created six-digit codes every time they wanted to use a locker and after entering that code, would then have to scan their fingerprints, which would trigger a random locker to open. In order to retrieve their belongings, locker users had to remember their code and re-scan their fingerprint.
On paper, this process may sound like an ideal way to safely secure one’s belongings, but when the process was applied to reality, some students began to have problems. For freshman business major Tim O’Neill, the lockers quickly became a nuisance.
“I tried using them in the beginning of the semester to try out the new technology,” O’Neill said. “When I went to take out my stuff, it wouldn’t read my thumbprint so I had to go get the HoCo staff to open them up.”
Opening the lockers, without going through the system, requires a master key that is kept at the front desk of HoCo. The key is inserted into a panel, which unlocks all of the lockers so belongings can be retrieved.
O’Neill isn’t alone in his negative experience with the lockers. In fact, so many students were having similar issues with the lockers that the HoCo staff was forced to make major changes.
“We found that students had an easier time using the lockers without the fingerprint scanners,” HoCo area manager Deborah Scanlon said. “We had the manufacturer come out during spring break and uninstall them.”
Now the process of using the lockers is a little different; users make up a random six-digit code, which opens a locker door, the number of which users must remember in order to later retrieve their items. For some students, however, remembering the locker number has caused some trouble.
For senior English/journalism major Lindsay Gross, the time spent figuring out the lockers isn’t even worth the frustration.
“In the amount of time spent trying to figure it out, I can throw my stuff in a cubby and be in HoCo,” Gross said.
Sophomore English/journalism major Brianne Doherty’s opinion on the lockers was similar to Gross’s.
“I wouldn’t say they’re pointless because it provides people with a sense of security,” Doherty said. “But it is so much easier to just throw your stuff down and go eat.”