Volume 90, Issue 85

Thursday, March 06, 1997



Calgary card key to university

By Karena Walter
Gazette Staff

A University of Calgary high-tech security system has students swiping cards for entry to buildings.

The one-card system allows students to gain access to specific buildings after they close at night.

Plans are underway to move the system into the social science building this school year but it is already in use in an administration building and a bio-sciences building.

"It's worked really well so far," said Jennifer Yip Choy, director of risk management, safety and security at the school. "The people who have to use it are happy with it."

One advantage of the card is its system is on-line and, when lost, the access code can be disabled quite easily, she said.

The multi-purpose cards are also used for identification, library borrowing rights, debit, campus recreation and food services. Because there are so many purposes for it, students can use the card all the time and will notice if the card is lost, Yip Choy said.

But the school also has alarmed doors and cameras near the card readers so if someone cannot get in they can buzz security to let them in.

Cost of labour and electronics is high and depends on the wiring needed for each building. To equip the entire science complex, for example, may cost $1 million, Yip Choy said.

A different type of access card has been introduced slowly over the past year at Western's Richard Ivey School of Business Administration and some sensitive areas of campus that are not open to the public, said Dave Riddell, senior director of physical plant.

"We've tried to increase safety across campus and certainly the access card approach is one way," he said.

The new residence will have a 24-hour security person in the front entrance but will have card access into rooms. Although it is not an on-line system like Calgary's, door access can still be changed easily, said Susan Grindrod, senior director of housing and food services.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997