Keycards issued to keep campus safe

Never mind that the campus controlled-access system is at times annoying, because it has students feeling safer.  Students know what is making entering dorm halls difficult for them and their guest, must also be doing the same for would be wrongdoers. These security measures are the armor for universities wishing to purge the vulnerabilities criminals exploit.

St. Ambrose University Campus Crime Statistics for the years 2009 through 2011 have the university experiencing 26 burglaries—entering a building intent on committing a crime—in the campus residence halls.

For addressing this kind of criminal activity, the university installed CS Gold, a keyless accesscontrol solution.  From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., students must swipe a card—or place the card in front of the reader, something many students are not aware they can do—to enter certain dorms halls.

Students use a traditional key for their individual rooms.  Any visitors must have their host meet them at the front desk so they both can leave picture identification cards.  If students find that their card is missing, they must report it immediately.  If it was stolen and either a police or campus security report is obtained, the student won’t be paying for a new card.  This is ideal for both cash strapped students and security attempting to keep track of lost cards.  A lost card poses a deep security threat, because it can give unauthorized persons access into one of the resident halls.

Although these security measures can at times be bothersome, overall, students seem to be generally appreciative.

“Sometimes it’s a little too much security. Especially having to scan them at the front door before you can even get into the room,” Adam Keith said. “But overall they are good.”

“They have a big brother feel,” said one student who didn’t wish to be named, making the point that security systems were already in place, and there is little need to have additional measures.

Not everyone is feeling like the precautionary measures are bad.

“When I was a student, I didn’t want to worry about my key and I wanted the freedom to go to my friends’ dorms on campus to see them without having to be checked in,” former student Wendy Pondell said. “But now that I have a home of my own, it doesn’t seem like a major inconvenience to lock up the house before I leave for work.”

Because of the recent string of school violence, many students are finding themselves worrying more about safety than they used too; although the most likely culprit will be vandals entering the buildings causing damage.  Controlled-access is alleviating the safety concerns of students.

They can worry about important matters like finishing homework, testing, sports and after school activities.

Universities all around the country are implementing controlled-access systems on every entryway.

Alongside other security enhancements, like St. Ambrose University’s six blue cap phones, controlled-access systems help make schools a safer environment for students who want to learn, and harder on criminals looking for easy pickings.


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