At George Washington University, students are unlocking their dorm rooms a little differently. For students who lose their GWorld student ID cards, getting into tap-access dorms is as simple pressing ‘send’ on a text message.
The university tested the new system earlier this semester, giving residents the ability to connect their cell phone numbers to their online laundry tracker accounts. In return, the students were given a phone number that they can text to unlock their doors.
As reported by The GW Hatchet, Groups of students participated in a testing period of the system that spanned several weeks in October. Now, the university is now reviewing responses from the student trialists, and expect to roll out the system before the end of the year.
University officials believe the system will be useful in situations when there isn’t time or it’s inconvenient to report to a residence hall key depot for a replacement access card.
Text access would be ideal for students who forget their GWorld card and are still nearby, for example doing their laundry or visiting the mail room.
One student who participated in the trial explained that the system enabled a roommate to enter the room while she was at the library elsewhere on campus. Situations like this add a new level of convenience, saving a trip across campus, but could introduce a myriad of other security concerns as it adds another means for entry to a dorm room.
The new program means the university’s GWorld cards aren’t required to enter rooms, but university officials intend for the text method to be a convenient alternative when a student’s card is lost or damaged, rather than a replacement for the card altogether.