Members of the Andover community will be able to unlock all dormitories and academic and administrative buildings with BlueCards, beginning Summer Session of this year. This change is meant to provide an additional level of security on campus, as the Office of Public Safety (OPP) will be able to regulate building permissions, including hours of access.
“The [BlueCard] system will enhance [Andover]’s ability to secure buildings quickly in the event of an emergency, and BlueCard access can be immediately terminated and reissued if a BlueCard is lost or stolen,” wrote Maureen Ferris, Director of Risk Management, in an email to The Phillipian.
Community members will have to simply wave their BlueCard over a card-reader to gain access to locked buildings. The reader, which scans a Radio-Frequency Identification chip embedded inside the card, determines the user’s identity and then grants access if the owner has the necessary clearance.
“The main visible change will be that students will use [BlueCards] to access their dormitories instead of keys,” Ferris said. “Some academic and administrative buildings may also be locked to the public at prearranged times while still allowing students and employees access to those buildings by using their ID cards.”
The change comes after a successful trial period at Borden Gym, where the system has been utilized to permit students access to the locker rooms and staff members external access to the building after-hours.
Even though the plan to integrate the system campus-wide next year will not be released until May, OPP equipped most dorms with card-readers over Spring Break.
The readers, which emit a soft bluish hue when they are not in use, will turn green if permission is granted and red if access is denied In the case of a power failure, the equipment will use its built-in battery back-up system, Ferris said.