Indiana State has for the first time implemented 24/7 card access at all residence halls on campus. The expansion of card access is part of a larger effort to bring the university in line with national best practices for campus housing.
As reported by the Indiana Statesman, the card access policy is more a refinement of existing measures that a new system outright. Nevertheless, the card access policy is intended to provide a safer environment for both the residents and desk staff. The only exceptions to the policy are three residence halls that house dining facilities. Card access will not be required during dining hall hours at those locations.
As with any card access implementation, requiring students to not only produce a valid ID, but also use it to access at perimeter doors, reduces opportunities for non-residents to gain access to buildings that they are not permitted to be in. Card access will also alleviate some of the reliance on desk personnel to determine if individuals are a resident or not.
“With open-access buildings, we had individuals who had no contractual need to be in the building coming in and doing vandalism, creating harm to others, and using services that were meant for residential services,” said Amanda Kerr, executive director of resident life and housing, in an interview with the Statesman. “The new system provides us with a record through the card access audit of who was in the building.”
Indiana State had previously introduced card access at select residential housing units on campus. Following success in those environments, Indiana State University’s Chief of Police suggested the policy be expanded.
As with any physical access policy, card access is only as secure as residents allow it to be. Just one of the components needed to successfully secure a facility, card access needs to be dovetailed by properly informing residents of concerns such as propping doors open or allowing “tailgating.”