Lehigh University has made the decision to fully transition from mag stripe to contactless door access across its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania campus, and is hard at work on the next phase of campus integration.
According to a report from student publication, The Brown and White, Lehigh’s IDs, Electronic Access and Locksmith (IDEAL) Office is spearheading the building access overhaul. The IDEAL Office started printing new, multi-technology cards prior to the access reader upgrades, and the majority of students, staff and faculty are already carrying the updated campus card. The small portion of students who have yet to receive the new credential can exchange the old ID for the new smart card free of charge.
Lehigh’s older mag-stripe system was outdated and needed upgrading, so the campus decided to implement contactless readers. In addition to being outdates, the move was also rooted in the limitations of mag stripe.
“We don’t really gain a whole lot by moving to this technology,” said Lehigh Residential Services Director, Ozzie Breiner, in a Brown and White interview. “The support for the older technology was no longer there, so we had to change it.”
In April of 2015, Lehigh announced that it would be issuing smart cards to its students, and begin to phase in the benefits of the more advanced credential. Updating access readers across all campus buildings is one component of the five-year project that began in the spring of 2015. Lehigh is in the second of seven phases that will see the campus implement more contactless readers this spring. Campus wide access reader upgrades are expected to be completed by 2019.