Housing and Residence Life tests ID swipe technology in new halls


The new Worth Hills residence halls feature a new amenity for students: ID swipe entry into suite style living. 

Students are now able to swipe into their suites using their ID cards and have a separate key to get into their individual rooms.

TCU Housing and Residence Life- including Housing Director Craig Allen- along with TCU's Vice Chancellor, architects, project managers and Assistant Director Hollis Dyer with the University Physical Plant decided this will be a beneficial change to on campus housing. 

Allen said the idea behind this new ID swipe access was to bring an element of convenience for faculty and students and, in the long run, will be more cost effective.

“It’s a technology that has been around for a while and we’ve been wanting to try it,” Craig Allen said. "We know students hanging on to an ID card and using their ID card to swipe all over campus already is something that’s kind of second nature.”

In regards to cost efficiency, Allen said, “The card swipe technology is much more expensive to install upfront. If there are four people in that suite and one person loses a key then we have to re-core that door and give new keys to every person in that suite.”

After speaking with Hall Director Bianca Newton and students living in the new Halls, it became evident that the new technology is well liked.

“The ID is easy to keep up with because you need the ID to go to the [Recreation Center] and to go to the [Brown-Lupton University Union],” sophomore pre business major Shane Leggott said. 

Sophomore nursing major Abby Sisk said, "I understand why some people like it compared to Colby because anyone could get in your room in Colby if you left it unlocked. It's nice to know that [here] all my stuff is in there and is safe."

For resident assistants and hall directors it makes their job much easier; for students it adds an element of convenience.

Rachel Atkins, a junior sports psychology major and resident assistant of Marion Hall said, “It’s safer because the suite doors automatically lock behind you. In the long run, I think it’s much better security-wise.”

new building is expected to be completed by next fall that will have a similar card access feature for students, Allen said.

Current buildings on campus that have been renovated in recent years will not change from key access to card swipe access, Allen said.

“Is it possible that we would start replacing keys in some of our older buildings? It’s possible,” Allen said. However, he said TCU wouldn’t see this change in the older buildings for at least another 5-10 years.

There are plans to renovate Colby Hall next year, but officials haven’t decided if they want to use the keycard technology on individual rooms, rather than for suite access only, he said.