College Planning & Management

AUG 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Safety & Security PREPARE AND BE AWARE Campuses Welcome Proximity Cards Proximity cards, offi cially called contactless smart cards, are fi nding their niche on campuses, providing security, convenience, and so much more. BY ELLEN KOLLIE H ISTORICALLY, CAMPUS cards were used for identifi - cation and to gain access to residence halls and other buildings: swipe the card on the reader, the door unlocks, and entrance is gained. As technology improved, the cards became "smart," allowing for access to student records, secure computer login, printing and transportation services, meal plans, and library services. At Cedarville University, a private campus of 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students in Ohio, students swipe their cards to register attendance at daily worship. These days, smart cards are also used as debit cards for laundry services, bookstore purchases, vending machines, cafeteria purchases, and even off-campus shopping/dining. Can these handy little cards get any better? Indeed, they can. They're being upgraded from smart cards to contactless smart cards, where they can be "read" when held near an electronic reader. "Bye- bye" magnetic stripes, "hello" the ability to leave the card in a book bag and simply hold the book bag within (typically) fi ve inches of the reader to gain building access in a rainstorm or when the temperature is below freezing. That's the contactless part. Bonus! The cards can still be used for all the other services mentioned above, which is the smart part. Here are the stories of two universities that have made, or are in the process of making, the upgrade from swipe smart cards to contactless smart "proximity" cards. DePauw University A couple of years ago, administrators at DePauw Univer- sity, a private school of approximately 2,300 undergraduate students in Greencastle, IN, began the process of up- grading their magnetic swipe smart cards to proximity cards. There were two reasons for the switch. The fi rst was the rather mundane need to replace older swipe card readers that were at the ends of their life cycles. The second was to introduce FollowMe Printing, where a print job is held in queue until the student arrives at the printer and fl ashes his/her card to release the print. Print jobs that are queued and then not needed can be canceled, thus saving paper. "We determined COME CLOSER. Proximity cards do not need to be placed against card readers to function but will usually function within inches of the reader. This allows many users to store their ID cards in wallets, pockets, or bags and swipe that item instead of taking the card itself out. The distance required to be read correctly will vary by individual reader. that he proximity cards would give more fl exibility to students and employees using the printers," says Carol L. Smith, CIO, "as they don't have to dig through their bags or wallets to retrieve their ID cards and swipe them to release their printing. We also felt we 24 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / AUGUST 2012 could have that same level of fl exibility and convenience for building access: they can just pass their bag past the reader to open the door. In addition, the proximity card readers are better for the outdoor ele- ments, as they don't get iced up or wet and WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF DEPAUW UNIVERSITY

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