The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 63.0°F | Overcast

Some Buildings Get Card Readers

By Dan McGuire
Staff Reporter

MITCard readers are being installed on Buildings E23, E25, and 66 and on the Medical Center complex as part of a pilot project to assess different ways of increasing security in general on campus.

The east campus card security pilot plan is the only concrete one at the moment. Access to the main group of buildings surrounding the Infinite Corridor and to the Student Center will probably not change, Chief of Police Anne P. Glavin said.

People working in the pilot project buildings approached the Campus Police during the spring about increasing security in those buildings, which led to discussions with the Campus Police and Physical Plant.

The project, scheduled to be fully implemented by the end of this year, will see the installation of a total of six new card readers on the pilot buildings. At that time, the readers' effect on both convenience and security will be evaluated.

Card access may be extended

"We have a general outline" of an Institute-wide security plan, said Director of Planning O. Robert Simha MCP '57.

The actual technology that will be used in any new security plan "is still a matter for discussion," but card readers are one of the possibilities being considered, Simha said.

One security goal is to ensure a uniformity of access around campus by using a single system, according to Glavin.

Card access "is a very commonly used system at universities," Glavin said. The system "maintains convenience and ease of access but limits access for people who don't belong there," she said.

"We'd like to get feedback from the community" about building security, he said.

Campus perimeter examined

There is "a particular concern for buildings on the perimeter of the campus" because the perimeter "simply means easy access by people off the street into the buildings," Glavin said.

"During the day there's a lot of access, particularly on the first floors" of most buildings, but "after hours, it's all locked up," Glavin said. Physical Plant personnel lock most academic buildings at 6 p.m., but some remain open until 7 p.m. or 11 p.m.

Access to some perimeter buildings would probably remain normal by necessity. The main entrance to the Institute at 77 Massachusetts Ave. will probably not be secured because of the amount of traffic it receives, Glavin said.

Also, "the Student Center, by its nature, needs to have pretty good access by the community and others," Glavin said. "That building is quite different from an academic building or a laboratory," she said.

The security plan "has to be sensitive to MIT's concerns about security while also being true to our tradition of openness," Simha said.

System faces some hurdles

"One of the things we have tried to do is identify a number of questions that have to be resolved," Simha said

"We normally think about just ambulatory people" when considering security systems, "but we also have to think about the ways that handicapped people can access the campus when the security system is in play," Simha said.

The plan must also take into account the way the security system will deal with large numbers of people attending public events and what allowances will be made for vendors and service people who need to get into buildings after hours, Simha said.