Heitz swipe card access unique among campus buildings

Swipe card access to Heitz Hall is one of many major renovations done recently on the building.

Unlike other campus buildings, Heitz is unique because the swipe card systems are attached to each individual room on the first and ground floors, allowing students to access to their building, hall and room by swiping or waving their school ID.

Junior political science major Matt Kemper is a resident advisor in Heitz and said using his ID to gain access is more convenient.

“I really like it,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to get inside for people who belong in the building, and it is more secure as well because there is no need to fumble around for your key. You just have to put your card up to the proxy and the door immediately unlocks.”

Executive Director of Residence Living and Leadership Nathan Thomas said the new system at Heitz is a step in the right direction to modernize the school.

“What you’ll see over the next few years is that swipe card integration will happen all over campus,” Thomas said. “More access points will have them, including residence hall floors and elevators as opposed to keys.”

Heitz is currently the only building with the swipe system integrated on two floors. Thomas said the system is expensive to install and maintain and he doesn’t see the swipe system being integrated into individual rooms of other residence halls in the near future.

“It’s actually very expensive,” he said. “One point access, for example the front door of Harper, is three to five thousand dollars of work and materials to make one swipe access point. If you consider all residence halls it adds up very, very quickly.”

The new additions have received a mixed reaction from the students living in Heitz. They enjoy the convenience of the swipe card system, but dread misplacing their card and being locked out of their own room.

“Upperclassmen are still getting used to it because it was all key before this,” freshman business major Amber Kohnke said.

The swipe system installed at each individual dorm room immediately locks when it is closed. Therefore, if a student leaves for a short period of time, does not prop open their door and forgets his or her card, they will be locked out of their room.

Once students have adjusted to the new swipe cards and the system functions as it should, students should have easier access to wherever they need to get.

“If you forget your card you have to find your RA to open up your door,” sophomore business management and administration major Evan Schier said. “It is still nice to have to only carry one thing to get into Heitz, onto your floor and into your room.”