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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Keys & Cards

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Key and Card Policy


Accommodation room keys are issued to the student for their allocated student room. The key will always have a blue fob attached, so that the porters can identify the room and student to whom it was issued. The key will be signed for by the student at the time the key is issued in the Key Allocation Record kept at the Porters lodge. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the key secure and they will be charged for any lost keys. All keys, without exception, must be returned to the Porters Lodge when the student goes down from College at the end of each term or leaves College for more than one week. Failure to do so will result in a fine being levied on the students college account. This process is to ensure that all keys are secure and accounted for, allowing staff time to replenish/replace worn keys and fobs. It also ensures that staff are aware of which students are still on site in the event of a fire or other emergency. This process applies to all students irrespective of the date they vacate from college or their tenancy agreement (39 weeks, etc.).

Student room keys will not be issued to a fellow student to gain access to a another students bedroom, unless written confirmation from the occupant is received at the Porters Lodge requesting this be done and naming the person who may access the room.

Keys for certain offices/study rooms are issued on a daily basis and the details of the person taking the key must be recorded on the Daily Key Register. This must be a member of Murray Edwards College. It is the responsibility of that person to ensure that the key is returned to the Lodge as soon as the key is no longer needed, or before 11pm, whichever is sooner. The room should be left secure. Keys not returned the same day will be assumed to be lost and dealt with as a lost key (see below).

Lost keys

If keys are lost, the student who has signed them out will have to pay for all replacement keys. All replacement keys incur a cost and this will be added to the student’s college account. There is no charge for stolen keys when the appropriate police report number is given at the time of reporting the loss. Similarly, keys will not be charged for if they break through normal wear and tear. Any loss or damage must be reported to the Porters Lodge at the earliest opportunity. A form will be completed at the Lodge recording the details of the loss and a temporary key (with a yellow fob) will be issued. This key must be returned within 48 hours. If there is a practical and genuine reason why this is not possible, then the student should report this at the Porters Lodge and an extension may be given. If the spare key is not returned within 7 days, then a fine will be added to the student’s college bill. A further fine will be added for each week that the key is not returned. Any fobs missing from keys returned to the Porters Lodge will be charged for at the rate of £5 per fob.

The fines levied to the students will be donated to a charity nominated by the JCR. The cost of a replacement key or fob will go to the College but note that it does not make a profit from this.

The keys used by the College are manufactured under licence in order to provide a high level of security and should not be replicated by students under any circumstances.


Room occupants may be charged for any damage caused to locks, or locks which have to be replaced due to a key being lost. The cost will be assessed at the time by the Head of Estates and added to the student’s college bill having informed her of the cost.


Personal Identification Cards (University Cards) are issued by the University Card Office, located in Mill Lane, Cambridge. Students should not allow their cards to be used by any other person. Such conduct might compromise the safety and security of the Murray Edwards College students and any such action would be reported to the College Dean who will deal with them as a disciplinary matter.

The holder of such a card is only allowed to have one active card at a time. The holder of a card which is broken, stops working or expires should report this to the College’s nominated card representative (usually the Head Porter or Deputy) and a replacement card will be ordered free of charge. Stolen cards will be treated in the same way, as long as the card holder can provide the porter with a police reference number, irrespective of where in the world the card was stolen. When the matter is reported at the Porters Lodge, the porter will ensure that a record is made in the University Card Record and a temporary card issued. This will be the trigger for a replacement card to be ordered. The temporary card may be kept for 48 hours and then should be returned to the Lodge. An extension may be given if the replacement card has not arrived.

Lost Cards

When a University card is lost or mislaid, this should be reported as soon possible to the Porters Lodge, who will ‘void’ the card in order to prevent it being used by someone who finds it. A temporary card will be issued to the individual for a 48 hour period at which time they should return to the Lodge, either to hand in the temporary card if theirs has been found, or to report it as lost which will prompt the College’s nominated card representative to request a new card. The College will charge the student to cover the costs for a replacement card, which will be added to the student’s college bill. If a temporary card is not returned to the Lodge or contact made to acquire an extension, the individual concerned will initially be reminded by email to return the card. If the card has not been returned by 7 days after issue, the student will be fined for every week that the card is not returned. The fines will be added to the student’s college bill and any monies made, donated to a charity nominated by the JCR.

Once a request for a replacement card has been made to the University Card Office, the order cannot be cancelled and the cost for a card will still be passed on to the student.