The antiquated security for campus buildings is currently in the process of being updated as a safety measure for a more effective security system.
Facilities management began the transition from physical key access to electronic key card access in 2017 for the majority of exterior and specific interior doors of every building.
The key cards are an advanced security measure to help people feel safe on campus, said Roger Watson, Human Performance Center marketing and building operations manager.
“It limits the [number] of keys you have out there [and] it allows you to have restricted access if you need it,” Watson said.
President Richard “Biff” Williams said the key card access has the ability for facilities management to manually lock the doors from the outside in case of any emergency.
The key card access also allows a key card to be deactivated if it gets lost, Chief of Police Blair Barfuss said.
“It’s a better way of allowing the right people into the right places and keeping the wrong people out,” Barfuss said. “It allows us to track who goes in and out, and to make sure that [the key cards are] being used for the intended purpose.”
By using key card access, the system tracks whose card was used, where it was used and when it was used, Barfuss said.
Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to obtain access to certain places around campus with their issued IDs. For example, if a student is taking a lab and that lab has a key card access pad, the student can request special key card access to get in.
“Security is always the No. 1 goal and desire for our campus… the higher security allows us to protect the individuals, protect the university and [protect] the assets,” Barfuss said.
Williams said he is proud of the campus police department for doing a great job at ensuring the safety of the campus and taking it seriously.
“We don’t have safety issues; we just want to make sure as the student body grows the public safety grows too,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, it’s not ‘if’ something happens but ‘when’ something happens.”
This is a developing story. Read next week’s story to find out more about the reasoning for the long transition, and where the administration is with the timeline.