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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Security changes bring new P-Cards

Over the past couple of weeks, the College has started updating the Pioneer One-Card system. In the coming months, everyone who is not a first-year will receive a new P-Card before all card readers are replaced in January of 2019. This week, Director of Residence Life Joseph Rolón did his part to dispel some of the confusion surrounding the P-Card renewal in an email to The S&B.

According to Rolón, the current building access system run by Millennium Security Services was installed more than twenty years ago. Therefore, the software that the College uses “is no longer available commercially,” making it difficult to find support when issues arise.

Due to the age of the system, issues occur more often than not. Older software is less secure due to the lack of updates that results from the software no longer being sold. In contrast, the new system will provide benefits to administrators working to make the access system work as smoothly as possible.

“The new Symmetry system is up-to-date; has a modern and intuitive interface; includes greater capabilities; communicates more securely than the old Millennium system; and is fully vendor-supported,” Rolón wrote.

First-year students have already received the new multi-protocol cards that will be standard starting this winter, while older students will have their single-protocol cards replaced by the end of this semester. Currently, card replacement is organized by residence cluster: students living in CaNaDa and off-campus housing turned in their old cards the week of Oct 1, and students in Clangrala were invited to replace theirs this past week. Students who live in the remaining clusters will receive invitations to get a new card over the next several weeks.

After all student invitations have been sent out, faculty and staff who have not yet received a new P-Card will receive invitations to get a replacement for their old one. Replacement cards can be obtained in the Office of Dining Services.

Because the system transition is occurring at the same time as the card change, both types of cards should continue to work normally this semester. Rolón wrote that if anyone’s card continues to fail after two attempts, they should call Campus Safety at extension 4600 or (617)-269-4600. In January of 2019, all of the door-access card readers on campus will be replaced, and only new P-Cards will provide access to campus buildings.

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