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Card access to main NDSU computer center promotes student safety

Published: 07 August 2012

As part of a campuswide initiative to secure building access and enhance safety for students, faculty and staff, NDSU’s main computer center – the Industrial Agricultural Communications Center, which is commonly referred to as the IACC – will require card access after 10 p.m. beginning Aug. 7. During regular operating hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., access to the building will remain open. After 10 p.m., all external doors to the IACC will lock automatically and card access will be required at designated entrances.

NDSU students and Tri-College students who are enrolled for classes at NDSU will automatically be authorized to access the IACC after hours using their Bison Card. Proximity card readers have been placed outside the designated entrances on the east side, northwest corner and southwest corner of the building. Proximity technology enables users to unlock a door by moving their Bison Card within a few inches of the card reader, even if the card is left in a wallet or purse.

Faculty and staff needing access to the IACC after 10 p.m. must complete and submit a request form signed by the head of their department or business unit. The Facilities Management “Card Access Request” form is available at Faculty and staff authorization to access designated areas inside the building will remain unchanged.

The project to implement card access after hours in the IACC was initiated in 2011 to promote student safety while continuing to provide 24-hour access to the building. The IACC building, which houses high-traffic computer clusters and study areas with wireless connectivity, has been accessible 24 hours per day since it opened in 1993.

“Access to campus technology 24 hours per day is a very important service for students. Feeling safe on campus is also critical for students’ college experience,” said Luke Brodeur, student body president. “The key card access initiative in the IACC is the bridge that makes both of these important aspects feasible.”

Facilities Management, Telecommunications and Emergency Support Technologies and the University Police and Safety Office partnered with support from NDSU students to make secure building access in the IACC a reality. Joan Chapek, assistant vice president for Telecommunications and Emergency Support Technologies, wrote a proposal in 2011 to request student technology fee funding for the IACC card access project. After funding was secured, Facilities Management determined the layout of card access points for the building and installed hardware at those entrances, and Telecommunications implemented the technology behind the card access systems. The University Police and Safety Office maintains the 24/7 Police Communications Call Center on campus that monitors building activity and alarms.

Card key building access is not a new concept at NDSU. Starting in the mid-1990s, card access technology has been implemented in residence halls and some academic buildings, including some department-owned computer clusters, downtown buildings and other restricted areas.

The project to secure entrances to the IACC is consistent with NDSU’s long-term objective to provide exterior envelope security for all campus buildings. Ray Boyer, director of the University Police and Safety Office, said that his office fully supports the project. “Eventually, we would like to see all NDSU facilities with this technology,” he said.

Boyer explained the card key technology in the IACC will assist campus police and other emergency services in identifying through access data the individuals who may be in a building in order to account for their safety in the case of an emergency.

Going forward, plans for all building construction and remodeling projects on campus will include card access technology. Long-term plans for securing campus buildings also may include alarms and video surveillance at every entrance.

“NDSU is providing these technologies to support the safety and security of individuals who legitimately use our facilities outside of regular university operating hours,” Boyer said. “This enables us to provide 24/7 enhanced emergency response capabilities.”

Marc Wallman, interim vice president for the Information Technology Division which is centrally located in the IACC, said he is “excited that we have an opportunity to improve security and safety for students while continuing to ensure their access to the IT resources they need.”

For more information about requesting card access to the IACC, contact Kim Lammers, IACC key control administrator, at

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013