Last spring, the University of New Mexico began issuing new proximity cards to students, faculty and staff as part of an effort to enhance campus security. Starting January 20, all members of the UNM community will be required to obtain the new prox card to meet new access control upgrades on campus.
According to an official university release, the January 20 changeover is being prompted in part by a recent facilities upgrade at the university’s campus rec center, the Johnson Center, which has been newly outfitted with prox readers for access control. Those wishing to access the rec facility will need a proximity card issued by the LoboCard Office.
UNM has been using magnetic stripe technology since the late-1970s. Recognizing that magnetic stripe technology has only grown less secure over the decades, UNM began converting to proximity technology in the 1990s.
The new Lobo Card will feature both proximity technology and a magnetic stripe with coded track information to enable access to clearance-restricted buildings and rooms as granted by department supervisors and building administrators. In a cost-savings measure, the migration to a proximity card has taken place in stages, as departments across campus added new physical security devices.
Stakeholders in the card technology migration included UNM’s Security Operations Task Force, the Lobo Card Office, Facilities Management Lock Shop, UNM Police and Institutional Support Services. It was determined that the remodeling project at the university’s rec center was the best opportunity to ensure that UNM’s entire cardholder population, including retirees and alumni, were updated to the new proximity cards.
The LoboCard Office first began circulating the prox cards in May 2019 in anticipation of a larger campus rollout. There is no charge to obtain the new card as long as the cardholder can turn in their old Lobo Card. A $30 replacement fee will be assessed if an old card was lost or stolen.