A few weeks ago I spent a day on the University of Tennesee Knoxville campus, while my oldest daughter was at orientation. She received her “Vol Card” which will be used as her student ID. It will also allow her to eat in several different dining halls and restaurants, and can be used at the Vol Shop, convenience stores and vending machines on campus, and more than 20 off-campus locations. The card will give her access to her dorm, elevator, hallway, and room, along with 24-hour access to a building that is always open to the honors students. She can use it at the rec centers, libraries, and probably other places that neither of us know about yet.
Access control systems integrated with other functions are a huge improvement in convenience and security for college campuses. When I was in college (in the 80’s – eek), we had metal keys to our rooms, and I don’t even remember how we got into the dining hall. The options available now seem almost limitless, both in function and in the physical hardware used in the system – hard-wired vs. wireless, a variety of credentials, and the software used to tie it all together. Luckily, there is guidance available from industry experts. This article from Jeff Koziol of Allegion is a good starting point in the conversation about wireless access control for college campuses, and each Allegion sales office has consultants who can help with the next steps.
Since I usually post photos of code problems and installation issues, here are some examples from UTK of how to do it right!
And remember that crazy kid who locked us in our hotel room and generally wreaked havoc in her early years? She’s the shorter one in this photo. Time flies!