The University of Pittsburgh implemented swipe access at all on-campus buildings and residences using its campus card in August of 2020 as an added precaution during COVID-19. The expanded swipe access policy for campus buildings remained in place until July 1 of 2022, at which point the campus reverted to its normal card access protocols.
Now, according to opinions gathered by student publication, The Pitt News, some students are calling for a return of increased swipe access on campus, expressing that the card swipe policy from 2020 added a layer of security and a sense of safety when navigating campus buildings.
Currently, swipe access is required to enter on-campus residential buildings and apartment-style dorms, but no other on-campus buildings require the same swipe access.
Part of the call for more card swipe access could be related to a spike in safety concerns at the university's Oakland campus following an alleged sexual assault last October on campus. A subsequent online petition calling for increased police presence, building access restrictions, and more security cameras received some 6,000 signatures.
The Pitt News report published a few of the opinions in favor of the more stringent card swipe policy.
A freshman student told the student publication that she feels safe on Pitt’s campus, but believes that swipe access should be required for entry to university buildings, stating that "the extra level of security would benefit students."
A Pitt sophomore told The Pitt News that she felt less safe on campus after the university stopped requiring swipe access.
“Pitt’s not a campus that’s closed off to the public,” commented one Pitt student. “We’re just in the middle of a city, so I definitely think that they should bring it back. I feel safer with it.”
“I liked it better during COVID with how everyone had to swipe in,” said another student. “Even visitors had to do an online visitors pass, and I felt more safe.”
There are no current plans to return to the COVID card access policy, nor is there any indication as to just how many within the student population want to see card swipe policy return. Nevertheless, swipe access via the student ID card seems to have made a notable impact on students' perception of campus safety, and serves as a reminder that the student credential plays a valuable role in security.