Campus provides reminder of the advantages of card access
New physical access security measures are being implemented at the University of South Dakota this semester, including the implementation of card access at perimeter and floor-level doors in residence halls for the first time.
According to a report from The Volante, the university’s Coyote Card is central to the new access control measures, highlighted by a three-point card access system. The change will see South Dakota implement card access in its residence halls for the first time.
Using the Coyote Card, students receive access plans based on their assigned dorm. Then, depending on where the student is living, the card will first provide access to a specific housing complex — checkpoint one. Checkpoint two is the student’s main hall, and the third checkpoint is the student’s floor. All three access points will leverage the campus card to provide access. Once the student reaches their floor, they will then use a metal key to access the room, adding a fourth layer of sorts to the access system. Plans are already afoot to alter the fourth layer of security and move to card access at dorm room doors.
University officials say that South Dakota is in the throws of a three-phase project, the first of which was to implement perimeter door access in residence halls via the Coyote Card. Phase two of the project is the addition of floor-level card access, while the third and biggest phase will be card access at dorm-room doors. The university says phase three will will happen over the next several years.
Prior to the the addition of card access, metal keys were being used to access the residence halls. Introducing card access will, among other things, alleviate the headache of stolen or lost metal keys, which currently carries a minimum $55 replacement fee, but rises as high as $75 at some campus residence halls.
Losing a metal key also means a change of lockset on the dorm door, adding to the overall replacement fee. The replacement cost for a Coyote Card will be just $20.
“Replacing a key not only is expensive and time-consuming, but it costs a lot for a student to take care of it and there is more of a gap between when we would consider the door secure again,” said John Geske, director of housing at the University of South Dakota, in an interview with the Volante. “When you lose your card, it’s an instantaneous process once we know, so the timing and ability to make something secure again is a lot quicker. If a card is stolen and we are notified, we can freeze that card immediately.”
Joining the new card access measures will be a new 24/7 lighting policy for residence halls that will take effect this year. The lighting policy is expected to provide an added layer of safety in residence halls across campus.