The University of Colorado Denver began a pilot initiative this past fall that required all campus community members to display their campus IDs when entering select CU Denver buildings. The pilot program was both a response to a reported increase in theft and unauthorized individuals entering campus buildings, and a request from students for an additional layer of security.
According to an official university release, the pilot program was a success, reporting no thefts or vandalism for the entire fall 2021 semester. The CU Denver Building Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee -- comprised of a group of faculty and staff members -- oversaw the pilot and the results of the visible campus ID initiative.
“In our collective memory of more than a decade, this is the first semester we can report such positive statistics,” says Liz Marsh, head of the Building Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee and an academic advisor in the College of Architecture and Planning.
When the CU Denver Building Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee was formed in 2018, one of its first directives was to restrict building access to only members of the CU Denver community and guests.
According to the CU Denver website, the initial Visible Badge Initiative required that all students, faculty and staff display their campus ID badges when entering the CU Denver Building.
The visible ID policy was designed to help security guards and other community members better identify those who are authorized to be on campus. The initiative has since been expanded to the Business School this semester, with further plans to make visible badging a requirement for all CU Denver buildings.
As with any university in a major metropolitan area, the CU Building, CU Business School and other campus buildings located in downtown Denver face a specific set of safety and security challenges.
The CU Denver Building alone plays home to the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Arts and Media, the InWorks engineering learning community, CityCenter innovation hub and a host of other academic departments that all require in-person activity in specialized labs.
There is no mandate regarding how students, faculty and staff should display their badge for entry, just that the credential has to be visible. Wearing the ID card around the neck using a lanyard and ID holder, or clipped to clothing with a retractable badge holder are both popular options.
Free lanyards are offered at various locations throughout the CU Denver Building and Business school. Card sleeves and retractable badge holders are sold at the campus bookstore.
To increase community participation and garner feedback for the visible campus ID pilot, university officials sent a survey to students, faculty, and staff who work and teach in the CU Denver Building.
Of the 225 respondents, 47% indicated that their sense of security increased, 41% indicated it makes it easier to identify members of the campus community, and 79% indicated that they felt like they were treated with respect and sensitivity.
CU Denver already has plans to expand the campus ID initiative to the Lawrence Street Center in the coming months, with longer term goals of implementing the policy at all CU Denver campus buildings by the start of the fall 2022 semester.
By Jeff Koziol, Business Development Manager of Campus Software Partners, Allegion
Don’t fall into the proprietary trap. When it comes to your campus cards, preparing for the future relies heavily on the openness of your platform. Know the facts about interoperability before making decisions about your credential technology.
Interoperability enables various systems from different manufacturers to communicate and exchange and interpret information. With campus ID card systems, interoperability permits the credential to work with a range of software, hardware and applications around campus, including door access, dining, vending and more. Conversely, proprietary technologies are closed, which can limit you to pre-selected vendors.
Freedom to choose. You get the freedom to choose best-in-class solutions that will meet your campus’s specific needs when you’re not locked into specific vendors. Don’t get misled by statements claiming interoperability. A credential is not interoperable if it only works with one manufacturers readers and locks. It should be flexible enough to integrate with products from an ecosystem of vendors.
Seamless user experience. When systems are coordinated for an uninterrupted experience, students just need a single form of identification to carry out their daily routine—from the residence hall to the dining room to the library. This is easier to coordinate when everything is built on open technology.
Financial control. Think of your financial independence. If you can only choose from a few vendors, you don’t have the option to shop around to get the best price. A good question to ask is, “Can I only purchase my campus cards from one manufacturer, or can I get them from multiple sources?” If you can only get the credentials from one manufacturing source, it’s not truly open.
Forward thinking. What you have today can dictate what you get down the road. Future-proof your campus ID card system by choosing an open technology. It’s more likely to work with future technological advancements, which is important at the rate technology is advancing and as the demand for mobile increases at colleges and universities.
Mobile and interoperability. Interoperable platforms are of greater importance as colleges and universities prepare for a move to mobile—whether that’s today or five years from now. As institutions prepare to go mobile, they’re auditing all the places a campus card is used today to ensure there is a 100-percent use case experience with mobile, the same as they currently have with plastic. Vending, point of sale, attendance tracking—all of these might be uncovered during the mobile use case assessment. For mobile student IDs to be successful, people need to be able to use them everywhere they would use a physical card. Interoperable technology allows universities to leverage various partners’ platforms to address all uses cases across campus.
Don’t settle for security by obscurity. Interoperable technology can still be secure, but it’s important to make sure it’s not just open but peer-reviewed, tested and certified. Campus-owned or custom-encryption keys are my recommendation for institutions looking to take control of their credential strategy. These are unique for each institution to add an extra layer of protection.
There are a few approaches to credential technology, so start by understanding which category a vendor falls into:
Open: Open technology is built on an industry standard so that it’s able to work with other hardware and software seamlessly.
Partner network: This option is less flexible than open but less proprietary than closed. The manufacturer often has a pre-selected partner network so it’s important to explore what hardware and software is available to you upfront.
Closed: The most restricted option, closed or proprietary credentials often only work with a specific reader or require proprietary embedded devices, often locking you into that single solution.
When ready to evaluate or implement a new credential platform, start by conducting an assessment. What readers and credentials are being used today? Where do students and staff use campus cards across campus, and off campus? What are your goals for the future?
Next, explore the credential options available to you. Is your current technology interoperable or proprietary? If looking to make a change, ask about openness upfront. If you plan to make a move to mobile at some point in the future, make sure you explore what that path looks like for your institution.
For the most flexible solution, opt for one built on an industry standard like MIFARE technology by NXP. It’s widely accepted and keeps you in control over your hardware and software choices.
If the solution you have, or the one you’re seeking, is proprietary, you can still have some level of interoperability. But you’ll need to inquire about it early in your process. There are solutions where the manufacturer has their own line of devices but allows others to consume their credential in their readers by supplying embedded boards, which could limit the ecosystem of software vendors and raise the costs.
Explore the vendors or partnerships that are part of the ecosystem too. Does Vendor A’s solution have 100 partners that use their embedded chips while Vendor B’s hardware works with thousands? Perhaps Vendor A’s smaller network of partner integrations includes the software you want, making them a solid choice at this time. But always think about future-proofing your technology.
If making a switch, start planning out your transition plan from current state to future state. We’ve got some tips for upgrading student IDs, including four common scenarios you might face. Work with the representatives from your card manufacturers, one card partners, distributors, and peer institutions to educate yourself on the credential technologies available to you. If you’d like assistance, contact an Allegion consultant today.
The University of Wyoming has launched the Navigate student success mobile app, which enables students to access valuable university resources, including academic advising, peer mentoring and campus event information.
According to an official university release, Wyoming's Navigate offering is available in both mobile app and desktop versions. Students can use the platform to easily schedule academic advising appointments, as well as find helpful information regarding on-campus events, peer mentoring, and to set weekly academic reminders.
The Navigate app is provided by EAB, a company that specializes in student success and retention. EAB's student success management platform is tailored specifically to higher education, and seeks to bring students, administrators, advisers and faculty together to better support students across their time on campus.
“As an institution, we've recognized the need to improve the effectiveness of our connections with students so we can provide the timely support they need,” says Kevin Carman, Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Wyoming. “Navigate is the latest high-impact change we’re making in this regard, and we’re excited to roll this out to our students.”
For students that want to use their smartphone or tablet, the Navigate Student app is available for download via the App Store or Google Play. Students simply find “University of Wyoming” in the drop-down menu to get started. Students also may access the platform by signing onto the desktop version, but in both cases students use their UW credentials to log in.
According to EAB, campuses using the Navigate platform have seen positive outcomes, including graduation rate increases ranging from 3-15%. To date, EAB estimates that some 9.5 million college students have used the Navigate platform at some point in their college career.
A student at UCLA has gone viral on social media, posting a how-to video detailing the campus' COVID-19 test vending machine. As campuses across the country continue their efforts to provide safety measures for students, a COVID test vending machine certainly ranks among the more innovative ideas.
According to a Newsweek report, the video has been viewed 1.8 million times on social media platform, TikTok. The video shows the step-by-step process of how to acquire a COVID test from the campus vending machine, including swiping the BruinCard student ID and self administering the test.
@meili_zzz american dream best country #ucla #covid #covidtest #pcrtest #vendingmachine #omicron #college #collegelife #uclabruins #dormlife #uclafood ♬ Material Girl (Bass Boosted) - Saucy Santana
According to the UCLA Health website, the university has installed thirteen of the test vending machines around campus for student use, most of which are accessible 24 hours a day.
The self-administered tests use technology pioneered at UCLA Health called "SwabSeq." UCLA Health maintains that SwabSeq is quicker and less expensive than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, while being just as accurate. Test results can be issued between 24-48 hours of testing.
Anyone with an active BruinCard is eligible to receive two tests per week free of charge. BruinCards will also automatically be filled with $2 each week to pay for the price of two $1 tests.
UCLA joins the University of California San Diego, the University of Ohio and Case Western University in Ohio as universities that have installed COVID test vending machines on campus.
Loyola University New Orleans and Sodexo have partnered to launch a Swipe Out Hunger initiative for the Loyola campus community. Swipe Out Hunger, a popular meal-donation program on campuses across the country, enables students to donate meal swipes from their dining plans to a campus swipe bank to be used by students in need.
As reported by Loyola's student publication, The Maroon, meal swipes donated through the Swipe Out Hunger program are made available to students who report experiencing food insecurity. Swipe Out Hunger has grown in recent years to become one of the leading nonprofits facing the student food insecurity challenge.
At Loyola, Swipe Out Hunger matched the amount of meal plans purchased at the university, as well as provided 1,300 meals for students during the fall semester.
According to figures cited by Sodexo, college campuses saw a 14% increase in food insecurity following the arrival of the pandemic. "With college students struggling to find stable access to food, programs like Swipe Out Hunger are becoming increasingly important," says Charles Casrill, Sodexo Manager.
Swipe Out Hunger's history dates back to 2010, but the major growth occurred in 2019 when the group was able to launch initiatives on 12 college campuses. In the time since, Swipe Out Hunger has provided an estimated 2.5 million meals to college students across the country.
“Students should not have to choose between school and food, and they should not have to choose a bag of chips over a nourishing, well-rounded meal that can help them succeed,” says Emily Kass, Swipe Out Hunger community engagement manager.
To participate, students first fill out a form on Loyola’s website, followed by a meeting with Loyola Student Affairs to assess each student's situation and help determine the number of meals needed.
At the onset of the program donated meals were loaded onto a separate meal card that students received anonymously. Going forward the meal swipes will be loaded directly onto student ID cards to help further ensure anonymity.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has installed MorphoWave readers to enable biometric access to campus recreation facilities. The initiative is being spearheaded by UNC Campus Recreation, and has introduced an optional, contactless system for student entry to facilities.
IDEMIA's MorphoWave readers have been implemented at a host of universities across the country in various settings including access to meal plans in campus dining. The readers are contactless in that students simply wave their hand through the reader, enabling the unit to scan the hand and match the user's fingerprints against the database.
According to The Daily Tar Heel, UNC students who visit the campus rec center will no longer have to swipe their UNC One Card for entry. UNC has already installed the biometric readers at the Student Recreation Center, the Rams Head Recreation Center, Fetzer Hall and Woollen Gym locations.
The biometric access system is entirely voluntary, and will act as a more convenient alternative to the campus card as a means of entry.
“You don’t have to have your ID with you and worry about putting it in a locker,” said Bill Goa, Campus Recreation Director, in a Daily Tar Heel interview. “The feedback we’ve gotten from students that are utilizing them has been very, very positive.”
UNC students can enroll in the MorphoWave system by visiting UNC's One Card Office. Start to finish, the enrollment process takes 30 seconds. The system also follows all the best practices for biometric security.
“What it does is you scan your hand and it creates a digital algorithm of your thumb fingerprints,” said Goa. “It doesn’t take the fingerprints themselves, but it utilizes the fingerprints to take an algorithm of your hand.”
There remains a slight learning curve in the early days of the biometric readers, but students are catching on fast.
“I definitely have run into some circumstances where people try to stick their phone in there, stick their One Card in there, put their One Card on top of it, things like that, so there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve,” said Ray. “That’s the only negative I can see with them."
Suffolk University has developed a way to leverage its campus card transaction system to ensure that student vaccine status is in keeping with the university’s protocols for facility access.
Like many institutions across the country, Suffolk University required students and staff to be vaccinated, or obtain an exemption, in order to return to campus in the fall. This posed a new challenge with regards to building access and transaction privileges.
“The challenge was the need to deny access and alert appropriate university departments in the event that a person without the required vaccination or exemption status was on campus,” says Mikhail Ilin, Director of Card Services at Suffolk University.
Ilin and his team turned to access control applications run by Campus Card Services looking for a potential solution. The result is that Suffolk is now leveraging features in CS Access, a CBORD product, to not only deny access, but also alert an desk attendants, and email the teams responsible for campus safety.
“During the COVID crisis we discovered many issues and have tried to formulate processes that reduce bottlenecks while informing our users. In this case, Mikhail and Wes developed an elegant little solution for our issue of vaccination status notifications,” says Kurt Hentschel, Director of Campus Services at Suffolk University. “This should allow us to keep our buildings secure while efficiently providing timely information to the administration to deal with the patrons requiring additional assistance.”
Using the tools embedded within CS Access, Ilin explains the process that he and the team at Suffolk created.
“First we will use a SQL import to intake data and add patron alarm to card holders still needing to obtain vaccination clearance,” says Ilin. “Patron alarm will display a message to security officer using access monitor that would say patron is denied access because of their vaccination clearance.”
From there a custom-designed alarm will trigger an email to the team stating the person in question presented their card at a given location and time, and they were denied access because of vaccination status, explains Ilin.
All of these tools were already available in CS Access, and it took a few days for Ilin working alongside Wesley Urban, Solutions Architect at CBORD, to come up with a process. Ilin credits the annual CBORD User Group Conference in large part for making this happen.
“It’s exciting to see how CS Access could be used by a customer like Mikhail,” says Urban. “Mikhail’s team utilized different tools that were already built into the software, which speaks to the power and flexibility of CBORD solutions.”
“Our customers really think outside of the box and work together through networking opportunities to find the answers to their problems,” adds Urban.
Ilin further credits the collaborative environment at CBORD’s UGC event for helping to arrive at a workable solution.
“I’ve attended UGC for multiple years and there were several presentations by CBORD campuses where we were trained to think outside the box, using existing products, putting them together and coming up with something brand new,” says Ilin. “Beyond classes there is networking and relationship building.”
“I spent many hours with Wes at the UGC technology pavilion brainstorming,” he adds. “Having worked with Wes at UGC, I felt very comfortable reaching out to him with this enhancement and together we built something that previously did not exist.”
After a successful rollout in August, Suffolk has decided to use the same methodology for COVID testing compliance and booster requirements going forward.
Wayne State University is continuing its move away from cash transactions in campus dining. The university's initial push toward a cashless dining experience began with the onset of the pandemic and the trend of retail businesses moving away from cash-based transactions.
According to an official university release, businesses under Wayne State's Dining Services operations, including Starbucks, Midtown Market, Tenders Love and Chicken, Panda Express, and Taco Bell, have all moved away from cash transactions. In addition, Sushi Kabar, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and WSU’s two residential dining halls have also moved to cashless payments.
“One reason was limiting the passing of cash itself, which even before the pandemic was thought of as possibly not 100% sanitary,” says Alex MacKenzie, resident district manager for WSU’s Dining Services. “But then — and somewhat well-publicized — was the difficulty to actually procure cash through the banking and courier services. It was no different for us. So, we also had to shift out of necessity.”
According to MacKenzie, cashless made sense for the Wayne State even prior to the arrival of COVID-19.
“Cash for us, specifically, made up a very small portion of previous transactions. The pandemic just sped up things that were already naturally occurring,” says MacKenzie. “And when we talk about cash replacement on campus, we’re talking about the OneCard, Warrior Dollars, debit and credit cards, and Apple or Google Pay."
"Also, the increase in mobile, since we use GrubHub on campus, is obviously a cashless transaction as well. Prior to COVID-19, we already knew those payments made up the vast majority of transactions," adds MacKenzie.
Students have a number of options available to them, including the campus card, where funds can be easily loaded to make purchases around the Wayne State campus.
“While some people have been aware of this for some time, we want to make sure the entire campus community understands why many of our on-campus businesses are not taking cash for payments,” says Tim Michael, associate vice president of WSU’s Division of Student Auxiliary Services. “We also want to raise awareness of other forms of payment, including the easy loading and use of OneCard dollars onto ID cards. OneCard cash deposit machines are located in the Student Center and many residence halls.”
Wayne State joins a host of other higher-ed institutions in the state to make the switch to a cashless retail system. Wayne State would also join neighboring Detroit entertainment venues -- the Mike Ilitch School of Business, the Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park and the Fox Theatre -- who have all phased out cash payments.
Michigan State University has officially unveiled its campus safety app, SafeMSU. The app was initially announced in November and includes a host of safety features, as well as a campus map and regularly updated local crime and fire logs.
According to a report from The State News, the app was originally proposed by the Michigan State University Police Department to the Associated Students of Michigan State University.
“The app was based on feedback that we had received from the community, particularly our student body, about having a safety app,” said Chris Rozman, MSUPD Public Information Officer, in a State News interview. “Because a lot of other large campuses have a safety app that they put into student’s hands.”
SafeMSU does not require an internet connection, however some features do require students to use cellular data services outside of the app.
The core safety features of the app include:
The SafeMSU app links to the university's safe ride program, and despite not being not directly integrated, students can follow a link from the app to safe ride program’s website to request a pickup.
The app also offers the ability to call the local Capital Area Transportation Service's Lot Link and Night Owl services as alternatives to the safe ride option.
Lot Link provides evening and weekend transportation to MSU parking lots that are typically difficult to travel to outside of weekday bus routes. CATA’s Night Owl service allows students to request a pickup to and from campus locations via a small bus between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 2:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekends.
Fares for the transit services cost $0.60 with a valid MSU student ID card.
The app also houses the Friend Walk feature, which enables students to designate a trusted individual to track their movements when walking across campus.
The feature can be accessed directly through the SafeMSU app, and will send a text message to the designated individual, allow them to view the user’s location, and be notified upon arrival to the destination.
Friend Walk also lets the user send an emergency text to their trusted individual at any time during their walk, as well make an emergency call via the SafeMSU app.
The app also includes separate “Emergency Contacts” and “Report a Tip” functions that enable users to access MSUPD and other emergency services.
Emergency contacts present include a 911 link and a non-emergency MSUPD phone number. The “Report a Tip” feature gives users access to an anonymous SMS “Text-A-Tip” line or toll-free tip line.
Support resources are also made available to students within the app, including student safe place contacts, and Center for Survivors and the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program.
The services aren’t directly integrated into the app, but website links and phone numbers for all support services are all available.
The alert functions in the app include updated campus plans for six different disasters or emergencies, including active shooter, bomb threat, evacuation, fire safety, suspicious package and severe weather.
These emergency plans are actively updated on a regular basis via MSUPD’s emergency management division. The MSU Alert tile allows users to check their sign-up status for MSU’s Mass Notification System, which communicates with students in emergency situations.
The start of the new year has brought new and exciting updates to the Roanoke College Maroon Card, as the college is now issuing a mobile credential with Transact Campus. Roanoke students will now be able to use their smart phones and smart watches to access Maroon Card services across campus.
According to an official release, Roanoke students, faculty and staff can all provision their Maroon Card to their mobile devices. Transact Campus is providing the NFC mobile credential solution, and the new mobile credential will work everywhere the physical Maroon Card does.
The mobile Maroon Card will enable student access to residence halls and campus facilities, fitness center, library, as well as meal plan use at dining commons and other campus eateries, campus events attendance, and copy/print payment.
The move from physical cards to a mobile Maroon Card on phones and device wearables allows for transactions that are safe and convenient, as well as help students avoid touching card readers or handing their ID cards to cashiers. Roanoke's card office already issues physical Maroon Cards remotely without the need to see students in-person.
"Information Technology has been working with Transact to bring this exciting new technology to Roanoke's campus,” says Terri Fox, chief information officer, Information Technology at Roanoke College. “Students already carry their phones everywhere. This allows them to have easy access to facilities, dining, printing and purchases. We look forward to bringing our Maroon Card technology to the next level!"
The mobile credential at Roanoke is also safeguarded by two-factor authentication, ensuring that only the student can access their own account even if someone else knows their password.
Students can also use their Maroon Money accounts -- Roanoke's declining balance tender -- to make purchases at other campus locations that accept the student funds.
The new mobile Maroon Card does not replace the physical Maroon Card, and students can still keep a physical card.