Valparaiso University is ending daytime open access to its dormitories and plans on setting up a card-based access control system by this summer or the start of the next school year. The new system will require student ID cards to open all residence hall entrances.

Valparaiso is just one of many schools taking this step in terms of access control. Campus security has been a huge issue in recent years, and providing tighter security for residence halls is one way to better protect students. With enhanced technology, schools can now create multifunctional student IDs which can be integrated into an access control system using magnetic stripe, proximity card, or contactless smart card encoding.
Proximity cards and contactless smart cards have become quite popular for this application because of the convenience they offer, as well as their strong security features. A system designed to handle these types of cards would require a student to simply waive their student ID card in front of a special reader in order to gain access to their dormitory.
Other benefits of card-based access control for residence halls include integration with alarm systems and automated alerts, and the ability handle lockdown situations in cases of emergency.