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Clemson to install classroom scanners

Nathan Goller-Deitsch // Web Editor
Student scans mobile ID to enter Cooper Library

The Classroom Access Control Project, a new plan starting to get implemented around campus, has been led by both the Academics Affairs and Public Safety divisions of Clemson University in an effort to enhance the safety and security of our campus facilities.

“You’ve likely read about, in national news, many active threat tragedies occur at the classroom level,” Megan Hembree, an information systems business analyst that works for TigerOne at the University stated. “While having secured exterior doors is a great step in achieving safety from a threat originating from the general public, the granularity of being able to quickly secure a classroom from a threat already in a building puts us in a better position to secure the safety of our students, employees, and affiliates,” Hembree said.

In adding access control to the classrooms, Public Safety personnel are able to more quickly secure specific areas and protect occupants of the building from threats. 

When a door is unlocked, propped or generally unsecured the room is left vulnerable, according to the University. As an additional layer of protection, classrooms will also be equipped with a lockdown button.

When depressed, these new buttons will deactivate TigerOne card access to enter classrooms while simultaneously notifying Public Safety officials of the lockdown. Once activated, only Clemson University Police Department personnel will be able to reset classroom lockdown devices.

Installation will begin over the coming weeks.

“Our mission is to enhance safety, reduce risk and prevent harm, and we continue to make great strides as a University in support of this mission,” Greg Mullen, associate vice president for public safety and chief of police, said. “We have seen time and again colleges and universities across the country are not immune to targeted violence, and this new technology is an enhancement designed to protect members of our University community from the potential for active threats.”

TigerOne utilizes data encryption processes to safeguard information, and TigerOne does not use credential data for the purpose of tracking or monitoring. The access control data infrastructure is stored in a secured environment hosted by CCIT.

“A secondary benefit of having access control on classrooms is to automate processes that were already performed by individual staff members to secure facilities each day to protect equipment, property, and interior spaces from theft or damage,” Hembree said. “This upgrade also allows more efficient access for faculty and students who frequently need assistance entering classrooms during non-business hours to retrieve personal items left behind during class.

“We do actually maintain card access and door activity data that is used for the purpose of troubleshooting access control issues for the cardholder and to resolve door issues for hardware/software service deployment,” Hembree concluded. 

Regarding who has access to the classroom, TigerOne implements what is referred to as “general access” for all academic buildings and interior classrooms. All active enrolled students, employees and affiliates can access the buildings and classrooms when they are open.

In the coming weeks, signage will be posted inside classrooms near these lockdown devices explaining their purpose, how they are used and consequences for misuse, according to Clemson News.

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Emma Vick
Emma Vick, Asst. News Editor
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