AOH :: ISN-1534.HTM

Lock-picking club feels responsibility is key

Lock-picking club feels responsibility is key
Lock-picking club feels responsibility is key 

By Roman Starsky
October 17, 2005 

After he was denied permission to start a lock-picking club in high
school, electrical engineering freshman Doug Farre decided to try his
luck at UTD.

"When I came to UTD, I toyed with the idea again and started talking
to my roommates about it. They agreed that it was a good idea, we
started collaborating, and things took off from there," Farre said.

Within the first two weeks of the semester, Farre's club received
official approval and sponsorship from Brian Berry, dean of social

"I had convinced myself there was no way the university would let me
have the club. I was prepared to fight for it, but when the time came
and they told me it was approved, I was very excited," Farre said.

Farre created an outline of club activities and set new member dues,
which cover a personal lock-picking kit, at $20.

"The name says it all. We will be picking locks. We hope to have
competitions, guest speakers and learn a lot about bypassing locks,"  
Farre said.

Farre said many students expressed an interest in his organization,
and the club currently boasts 30 lock pickers and 30 more potential
members who have expressed interest in the club.

"Lots of different people decided to join. Members have a love for
technology and are not the type of people that are going to give up an
opportunity to learn something as intriguing as lock picking. We also
have many girl members," Farre said.

Farre envisions the Lock Picking Club as doing more than just teaching
members to pick locks.

"I think that having the Lock Picking Club on campus will get people
involved who aren't normally involved in other activities. It also
gives people a chance to learn an extremely important skill and
educates people so they aren't ignorant about their surroundings,"  
Farre said.

Despite Farre's enthusiasm, several Waterview Park residents have
complained about the potential privacy risks associated with having an
organized lock-picking group.

"While I can see how the club may be a good thing, I can definitely
see how this can be a security risk too," psychology freshman Mayra
Artega said.

Farre argues that only irresponsible lock pickers present a danger to
residents' privacy. According to Farre, lock picking should be allowed
if jujitsu, which teaches deadly combat techniques, is permissible.

"I don't think there is anything to fear. Anyone can buy lock picks
and use them for criminal purposes. All Lock Picking Club members are
required to sign a code of ethics and will be made aware of the
responsibilities that go along with being a member of our
organization," Farre said.

The club plans to hold its first meeting on Oct. 4 from 6-7 p.m.,
followed by another meeting on Oct. 5 from 7-8 for those unable to
attend the first meeting. The location has not been determined.

"The club will meet twice a week, so members will be able to attend at
least one meeting. The meetings will be on Tuesdays from 6- 7 p.m. and
on Wednesdays from 7- 8 p.m. bi-weekly," Farre said.

Eventually, Farre said he hopes the Lock Picking Club will grow enough
to offer services to UTD.

"We hope to offer a discounted locksmithing service to the university
for people locked out of their apartments and cars," Farre said.

While previous lock-picking clubs at UTD failed long before they could
offer an organized service to UTD students, Farre claims this club is
going to be different.

"I can guarantee that the new Lock Picking Club is going to be much
bigger and better," Farre said.

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