An All-In-One Card System that Does it All… AND Increases Safety on Campus!

Posted on March 10, 2011 by


Campuses are constantly trying to address the issue of safety.  We are always looking for new ways, strategies, techniques, tips, etc. on how to improve security.  Although it can never be 100% bulletproof, why can’t we get as close as possible and keep our students and faculty safe, let’s say, 99% of the time…? UT Arlington has implemented an interesting system on their campus and although I think it has faults, it seems to be the most thorough system out there to help with security issues.

It seems as if campuses are always trying to find different systems and techniques for different aspects of safety.  There is an access plan for different building security, mass notification system that works on one campus but maybe not one that is away from main campus, fire safety systems, I could go on and on… but it seems as if none of these systems WORK TOGETHER.

What UT Arlington does is the first step to complete security integration throughout a university.  About 15 years ago, they first started to use a card system and throughout the years it has evolved into a one-card system that does it all.  Student, faculty, and various other independent contractors are each given an ID card that allows them access to different areas on campus based off their status level.  A student, who is known to lose anything and everything, now has one card with their photo on it that allows them access to parking garages, certain buildings on campus for classes, meal plan bucks, and the possibility of linking their bank account to the card.  The card can only be used by the student and can easily be deactivated when reported missing.  There are monitoring capabilities and this allows the security department to monitor any suspicious activity and prevent crime before it even starts.

Faculty, independent contractors and vendors all have different color cards with varying levels of access abilities.  This makes it easy for security to recognize who everyone on campus is and where they do and don’t belong.  Administrators, different branches of the IT department and safety officials meet once a month to discuss security needs and future planning.  This card is still evolving and as long as new software is compatible with their system, it is an easy step to further increase safety on campus.

It seems as if this system has worked and grown for over a decade because there is constant cooperation and communication!  Maybe eventually there could be red flags implemented if a card isn’t used in a certain amount of time or mass notification alerts that are sent out through the card to their cell phone?  Who knows what the future can hold!

What would you like to see if your campus had a one-card system that did it all?

Posted in: Safety