All 130 residents of Old Quincy traded in their keys this week as locksmiths replaced the cylinders in every lock of the six-entry dormitory.
Yesterday's re-keying of Old Quincy was likely the result of the disappearance of a set of keys from a Harvard University Police Department vehicle several weeks ago.
While Quincy House officials declined to comment on the lock change, the University press office released a statement in response to an inquiry.
"The re-keying of an area of the Harvard campus...stemmed from the disappearance several weeks ago of a set of keys from an HUPD vehicle," the press release said. "The investigation into that incident is continuing."
The release did not specify, however, if the "area" referred to was Old Quincy or another Harvard building that had to change locks.
The Quincy House re-keying is only one of several this year, according to a police department source. Since the beginning of the term, Mather has been re-keyed twice, when cleaners misplaced the keys. The Science Center was re-keyed because a set of keys were stolen. And five Law School dorms and Paine Hall were all re-keyed after a private security firm lost the keys.
John J. Williams, one of the lock-smiths for Harvard, said Old Quincy's re-keying was a matter of routine maintenance. "We're trying to update a little," Williams said yesterday. "The locks haven't been changed in years, so it's better for security."
Though students were informed of the re-keying through a notice issued by the house, Old Quincy residents wondered why they were not given a reason for the lock change.
Jordan M. Singer '97 said he was irritated with the lack of an explanation. "I don't understand why they did it. They didn't explain in the letter," he said.
"What's the point?" demanded Kisha F. Mair '95. "If they're changing the keys. I thought they might upgrade the system to card keys, or new locks or something, but they are the same old locks."
Only one student presented a reason for the re-keying. "I asked the superintendent why, and he said someone had lost a master key," said Polly C. Langendorf '97.
The superintendent, Ronnie W. Levesque, refused to comment on the reason for the re-keying.
Quincy House Master Michael Shinagel and Allston Burr Senior Tutor Rory A. W. Browne could not be reached for comment yesterday