Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Are tougher security measures needed on college campuses?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The recent incident where a 26-year-old woman passed herself off as a Columbia University student shows how lax security can be at many colleges and universities.

Birva Patel had been posing as a third-year biomedical engineering student since December 2011. She went unnoticed by the authorities until several Columbia students reported her for suspicious behavior in late August.


While she was seen inside various campus buildings, sleeping in lounges or walking down the hallways without attending any classes, no one thought to call authorities. Without a Columbia ID or key, Patel entered the buildings by asking other students to open the doors for her. Or, she simply blended in with a large crowd when entering the building.

There are multiple ways of increasing security, including cameras and metal detectors, but the easiest and most effective way to strengthen campus security is to encourage students to remain alert, an article in The Wellesley News points out. “If a student sees anyone who doesn’t belong, or if their gut reaction tells them that something is not quite right, they should report it to the campus police,” The News adds.

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The CBORD Group announced the launch of Avail, a new Software-as-a-Solution access control system.

Specifically designed for security, ease of use and cost savings, Avail offers robust security measures while reducing expense and complexity for the university. An ideal fit for small and mid-sized access control implementations, Avail is designed to simplify access management by eliminating the need for software installations or server maintenance.

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Identification and security products manufacturer, IDenticard, is looking to rethink the way contactless is being used on college campuses with the release of UBand, a contactless access solution in the form of a wristband.

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NFC deployments on college campuses have struggled to get off the ground, having been foiled by a number of hurdles, including difficulty with gaining access to the secure element within mobile devices. But could host-card emulation provide the key to unlock this puzzling conundrum?

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NFC implementations on campus have been anything but perfect. In fact, between the fractured nature of NFC adoption as a technology, the relatively few university-specific NFC pilots and the rejection by Apple, NFC is far from making the grade.

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