George Washington University has expanded its use of card access at more on-campus residence halls and dorm rooms. The GWorld campus card will now be available to all but one campus residence hall for students to unlock their doors, providing an alternative brass keys.
According to a report from The GW Hatchet, university officials have added electronic key access to 15 residence halls as part of George Washington's continuing campus security upgrade efforts. The expansion will enable individual room access as well as perimeter access to campus residences.
“We had a disparate experience amongst the students. Some had it, some didn’t. That didn’t make any sense,” said Mark Diaz, executive vice president and chief financial officer at George Washington University, in a statement to the GW Hatchet. "Anything that will enhance our safety position and create an environment that’s safer for our students, faculty and staff, we’re not waiting.”
The lone residence hall not included in the card access and electronic lock upgrades was excluded because the building is due for a complete renovation this summer. Prior to individual room access, the university had previously installed electronic door access in rooms in the GW Law School building, along with tap access to all on-campus residence hall lobbies last semester.
“We have a project at the law school to implement and install tap access and so now the classrooms have the ability to lock down if we ever have some type of targeted violence event,” says Diaz.
University officials have dedicated funding to the campus safety division to prioritize student security. The GW Hatchet report suggests that the cost of installing the access upgrades reached the “low seven figures.”
Also included in the planning and discussion phases of the project were GW's Student Advisory Board, the Student Association and the Residence Hall Association. Students will still be able to use a physical key to unlock their rooms in the rare event that an electronic lock malfunctions.