Free lockers at Markin aren’t taken advantage of, prompt thefts

Next time you’re about to slip a quarter into a locker at the Markin Center, don’t.

And next time you’re about to use an unlocked locker at the Markin Center because you don’t have a quarter, don’t.

Only a couple of thefts from lockers have been reported this year, but that is enough to concern staff members.

“We are working on adding signs to inform students that they can have a token for free if they just ask for it,” Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Jessica Titus said. “We want tokens upstairs, too, so students don’t have to walk downstairs to get one.”

The system in place is that a one-time locker rental requires a quarter to lock the locker, but students can rent lockers per semester for $7 for a half locker and $10 for a full. However, students can request a token from the front desk for a free alternative to provide a one-time locker use.

“There have been few incidences of items being stolen, but big picture-wise we feel like we’ve got a good system,” Titus said.

The only way students can truly protect items of value is to leave them at home, Titus said.

“Whether they token a locker or rent a locker, we encourage students to leave anything of value at home,” she said. “And if you do choose to use a token for a locker and the locker closes before you can get all your stuff locked up, feel free to get another. There is no limit to the number of tokens students can request per day.”

Students are unaware of the token option because it’s not advertised, sophomore nursing major Katy Bednarczyk said.

“They don’t post it anywhere,” she said. “But I don’t lock my lockers because I don’t bring anything with me that I worry about getting stolen. I figure if your stuff is in the open, no one is just going to walk up and take it.”

According to police reports, most of the reported incidences of theft at Markin are due to students leaving items in the open.

“It’s not a huge issue,” said University Police Lt. Troy Eeten. “The idea behind it is that any of these thefts could have been prevented.”

Sophomore nursing major Ashley Cox said she rarely uses lockers when she goes to the Markin Center.

“Right now it’s cold out, so I have sweatpants and a jacket with me,” she said. “I just keep my stuff on a ledge by me. It makes more sense time-wise to keep my stuff with me. But locking your stuff would be more important if you move around a lot.”

Another option for minimizing locker rental cost is sharing and splitting the cost, Titus said.

“The important thing is that you trust whoever you’re sharing a locker with,” she said.