Page 107 - Security Today, July/August 2020
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deford campus has an osteopathic medical school and a large marine science program, which require heightened security protocols for lab and storage facilities. Access control links with physical security tools, such as cameras, to give a deeper view into who is accessing facilities, and when. It is a proactive way to stay informed.
Having university-wide access control in place also allows us to offer benefits to the Portland and Biddeford communities. Community members can sign up to use campus fitness centers, and receive fitness center-specific ID cards to gain access. This helps us keep campus build- ings secure, while extending our campus resources to non-students.
Events. Student ID cards are an extremely effective way to manage campus events and activities. The Biddeford campus has an ice rink, which requires students to fill out a safety waiver before using. To streamline the process, we are implementing a credential reader at the ice rink, where students will tap their ID cards and staff members are automatically notified if a waiver needs to be signed. Instead of rifling through a binder to see if the proper forms have been signed, an automatic alert pops up – making the entire process easier for students and staff.
Transportation. Reliable transportation is an essential part of the college experience. We have equipped our campus shuttle with a Transact credential reader so students and faculty members can eas- ily tap their ID cards to ride, which also enables the university to collect usage data on peak time and overall ridership. We can then use this information to make cost-effective decisions.
For example, if university staff is seeing an uptick in usage during the winter months, expanded hours are offered. If usage from a stu-
dent population living further away from campus, the university can consider adding another bus and creating a new route.
Dining. Biddeford’s main campus dining hall is located on the third floor of a building. We were experiencing challenges with the line getting backed up during lunch time, and needed a solution to make things easier on our staff members, and more convenient for students.
The old process required a staff member to accept each student’s form of payment at a terminal, which takes time. Working with Transact, the university rolled out a ‘fast pass’ system for students with board meal plans to use their student ID cards to gain quick entry and bypass the cashier.
Collaboration is key. University staff coordinated with the dining hall team to make sure they were looped in on the process, making sure they knew that the fast pass update was meant to alleviate stress and pressure – not replace the work they do.
An educational awareness campaign was undertaken for students but the ID card systems staff, teaching them how to use the new sys- tem which was critical to a successful initiative.
Get creative. Good advise is to not be afraid of using technology in a new way, or a way that it’s not necessarily designed. Creativity is key, and data can be used to back up your plans. Don’t be afraid to fail, and instead, focus on the improvements that can be made from your ideas.
Kevin Paul Taschereau is the ID card systems manager at the Univer- sity of New England, located in Biddeford ME.
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