University to update ID system - Purdue Exponent: Campus

University to update ID system

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:00 am

The 19-year-old Purdue ID software system will soon be upgraded to better protect users from incidents of allowing students into the wrong buildings.

Around 2 a.m. on Sept. 22, four friends, two from Cary Quadrangle residence hall and two from Windsor residence hall, were about to enter Windsor, an all-female residence hall, when one of the male friends jokingly said they would swipe the women into the building, not expecting it to actually work. Jenna Robinson, a senior from the College of Technology, said the group reacted in silence.

“He swiped his ID and the door opened and everyone got really quiet for a second because we thought it was a fluke,” Robinson said. “Our other friend (from Cary) tried it and his worked too and we thought that was pretty crazy. We tried a few of the other doors in Windsor and they also worked.”

University security officials had no knowledge of the issue until it was reported at 2:08 a.m. The University took immediate action and fixed it at 2:43 a.m. This was a human error, according to Heather Powell, card services manager. The ID system allows certain students, staff and faculty members access to different buildings according to their position and somehow a group of Cary residents were put on a master list.

“Each Residence Hall has many door access plans that can be assigned to different types of individuals (such as) residents, hall staff, electricians (and) police,” Powell wrote in an email. “Each plan is a combination of times and locations to which the cardholder will have access. Some Cary residents were assigned an incorrect location grouping that allowed them to access Windsor Hall.”

Ally Goodrich, director of conferences and community relations, said she couldn’t be more impressed with how the students conducted themselves by not hesitating to report the problem to appropriate figureheads. Goodrich said she’s excited the University has invested money in a newer and more accurate system.

“We are so glad that those students were straight forward and came up and told us,” Goodrich said. “It is also exciting to know that Purdue made a selection to update the campus card system. The new system is more modern, tech-savvy and includes more safeguards that prohibit incidents like this from happening in the future.”

An updated version of the ID system, Blackboard Transact, will be more user friendly and accurate. This will protect students’ BoilerExpress accounts and restrict access to certain campus buildings.

“The new software will define user roles within the system to better delegate work, provide customized reporting and affords Purdue the opportunity to rethink business processes created to work within the confines of the current system,” Powell wrote.

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