The University of Massachusetts has installed a new access system for campus residence halls in an effort to clamp down on everything from parties to alleged sexual assaults.
The solution has come in the form of a home-grown system that will be used for both electronic access verification and guest registration at roughly half of the university’s residence halls. Currently, each residence hall employs desk monitors after hours, with all dorms being locked round the clock.
As reported by local ABC affiliate WGGB, students swipe their ID card at the perimeter entrances of the residence halls. With valid photo identification, however, the system can also register off-campus guests into the system. this visitor information will subsequently be stored in the system so that when they visit again, their information will be easily accessible.
According to university officials, the new access system will provide UMass with reporting capabilities that the university previously lacked. The prior system relied on coded stickers adhered to student IDs, along with handwritten logs that recorded the information of everyone that visited the residence halls after hours. It was a process that made visitor management unnecessarily difficult.
In addition to providing the university with valuable reporting functionality, the new access system will eliminate the need for tedious paperwork and expedite the overall visitor management process. Moreover, because UMass built the system in house, the university expects to save thousands of dollars in overall development and installation costs.
The electronic system only allows up to four guests in each room at any given time. Administrators say this feature will help with crowd control and could be critical in emergency management situations.
University officials expect to have the new electronic sign-in procedure installed at all residence halls by next fall.