UVA Email #7 - Updates: Modification to Locks Beginning as Early as 4pm Today

Dear UVA residents,


We are continuing to share updates as we have them about the recent theft of a UVA First Responder exterior key vault containing keys to the entire Village. 


We again sincerely apologize. We know this has caused stress and disruption during an already stressful time of year. We’ve heard your distress about the safety of you and your families, and we empathize with these very real concerns. 



Lock Modification Timeline / Next Steps:
We are beginning the first-step as part of our broader solutions to this matter. Beginning as early as today, Monday, May 9, between 4pm and 8pm, and then (Tuesday through Friday) daily 8am-8pm, six university locksmiths will be modifying each unit’s locks so that the stolen master key no longer works. In short, this will prevent the master key from being used and will allow your original key to work in this reconfigured lock. This is the quickest way to secure the Village while we work on a more permanent lock change. We are committed to having all locks in the Village modified by Friday, May 13 by 8pm


Next steps:

  • Please complete this quick preparation survey as soon as possible (today if you can). This information is vital to helping our locksmiths plan and move through this process as efficiently as possible.
  • We will begin the process starting in the West Village and moving eastward as quickly as we are able.
  • You will receive an email giving you an estimate for when we will approach your building (we are aiming to provide you with roughly 4-hour arrival windows). Additionally, a UC Berkeley staff person will knock on your door to alert you shortly before the locksmith will arrive.
  • A UCB/RSSP staff member will be part of the lock modification process, wearing a lanyard with their staff I.D. on it. If the staff I.D. is not visible, you can always ask them to show it to you. 
  • This process may cause some noise (drills to remove and reattach faceplates). We apologize in advance for the disruption to preparation for finals and nap times.
  • If you did NOT hire a locksmith to change your locks:
    • You do NOT need to be home.
    • You can keep your keys that will continue to work in your lock.
    • This will be a fairly quick process. The locksmiths will not need to enter your home, and can perform the work from the outside - but we want you to be aware of their activity and noises you might hear as this work happens.
  • If you DID hire a locksmith to change your locks: 
    • You will need to be present at home when the UCB locksmiths arrive to open your door. If you can't be home at the time, we will move to the next apartment and arrange a time to return later.
    • You will need to provide the locksmith with the original lock parts that were removed when you had the lock change performed - cores (the part the key goes in) and cylinders (the part that goes around the core).
    • In addition, the new (temporary) core you may have had installed will need to be removed and replaced with the original UVA core. Note, the UVA core will be altered so that the stolen master key will no longer work and your unit will be secure.
    • If you do not have the original lock parts or if you have misplaced the original keys, please let us know ASAP by filling out the quick preparation survey.

Once your unit has had this work performed by our campus team, the stolen master key will not work in your doors anymore. We will be in touch about the long-term solution to modify your core/lock one last time and provide you with new keys for your apartment.  The long-term solution will likely occur in 2-3 weeks, depending on supply chain issues.  The immediate steps we are taking this week will prevent anyone from entering your apartment.

Door alarm sensors:
We’ve gotten some questions about alarm systems that can alert you to potential intruders. We do have a limited supply of wireless sensors, available on a first-come-first-serve basis at the Village Office. 

Lock questions:
As mentioned above, if you have had a temporary lock change performed recently, the UC locksmiths will need the original lock parts (called “cores” and “cylinders”) that were removed when you had the lock change performed. Please keep them handy for when our UC locksmiths come to your unit to perform work.


Reminder: Second Town Hall Meeting: Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday for our first town hall about this matter. We realize that we need more time to hear your voices and continue this important conversation. As a result, we’re planning a second, 1 ½ hour virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 11 at 10 am to allow more time to connect with you and answer your questions. 


To join: At 10am on Wednesday, May 11, log into your Berkeley Zoom account and use this link:

(Meeting ID: 972 2729 0613) 

We look forward to meeting with you again. In advance, please know this meeting will require a Berkeley Zoom login. 

Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding. We will continue to share important updates with you via your Berkeley email account. We also are trying to keep updated information and a running list of recent communications on our UVA FAQs webpage.


Makoto (Mako) Ushihara (he/him/his)

Executive Director, RSSP Housing Facilities