Following a deadly shooting involving a student and his parents on the campus of Central Michigan University in March, university officials have ramped up campus-wide physical access control upgrades.
Core to the security upgrades has been the installation of card readers on residence hall doors, a project that began in the summer of 2017. As reported by CM Life, the university had embarked on the multi-year plan as a collaborative effort between CMU Police, Residence Life, Facilities Management and the Office of Information Technology.
The university completed the last of the three-phase safety and security updates to campus buildings and residence halls in August. The result of the overhaul sees Central Michigan’s 22 residence halls and graduate housing facilities completely outfitted with electronic card access.
The new security system requires residents to use their CMU ID to enter campus facilities, and students will now access both exterior and interior doors with their campus card. Main corridors within each academic building and residence hall will remain open to ensure open access to classrooms and residential restaurants.
Additionally, if a student opens side exterior residential hall doors after 10:00 p.m., a sharp, high-pitched alarm will sound. The introduction of the new card readers and alarm protocols encourage students to enter residential halls through the front doors rather than the side exterior doors.
The university is yet to set parameters for dealing with students who trip the alarm. Residence hall desk receptionists have been tasked with recording the violators, but the alarms occur so often that the resident assistants and hall directors are struggling to keep up.
According to the CM Life report, students living in CMU’s South Campus residence halls regularly trigger the alarm as a result of not being familiar with the new system. Students who open exterior doors and continue to exit are being recorded for later instruction on the new protocols.