Over the past few weeks, KO has been working on implementing a new security system for all students. KO’s campus, located in the center of West Hartford, is very open and friendly, which could be seen as a potential safety threat. Before the cards, all the doors were open for strangers to enter the school during class time. For this reason, KO installed chips in the new ID cards of all the students. All doors that were previously open, are now locked at all times. Additionally, a few new doors can be opened with the cards. The bottom of CT (near the physics hallway), Seaverns side entrance, cafeteria back entrance, and the Roberts Theater side doors are now accessible with the cards.
These cards assure a sense of safety among current students, prospective students, and parents as they have to worry less about safety and more about colleges and grades. Like most new systems, KO’s new key cards have hit a few bumps throughout the installation process. For example, some of the scanners in Roberts Theater are older than CT and take longer to recognize the student cards. Some cards don’t even work on a few doors around campus, but the faculty and maintenance staff is working to fix it.
One of the larger issues was the lanyard hole. Lots of people around campus had punched a hole in their cards to attach a lanyard to it. Dean of Students Will Gilyard sent out an image with directions on how to punch holes in cards. This ended up being incorrect and damaging the card, to no fault of Mr. Gilyard’s. Most people punched a hole and damaged the chip within the card which made it ineffective. These students handed in their old cards and were given new cards within a reasonable time frame. However, most of the cards given after getting a hole punch didn’t work on CT doors.
One change that should be made is, the cards should be available on weekends when students have sports games or club meetings and need to access the buildings. Another change should be access to the doors near the computer science rooms in Roberts Theater. Some people have classes in CT and need to get to the computer science hallway quicker.
A positive about the cards is that sensors are surprisingly strong as they work through wallets, phone cases, and card holders for phones. The KO store merchandise pairs perfectly with the cards and is used by most students on campus.
While this new development will take a while for students to get adjusted to, it has made the community more prepared for later times in our life. Similar to most college campuses, KO students need to scan/swipe in to access any door. This prepares us for when we enter college and have to use the same systems. They have also made the community come closer in an abnormal way. Since this is a newly implemented idea, people are still getting adjusted to it and they might get a little frustrated when the cards don’t work. Knowing this, students are holding doors for people 20 to 30 feet away just so they don’t have to waste time or struggle to enter a building. These small acts of kindness around campus have gone a long way and brought the community closer.
Overall, the new key card systems have had many issues but are being resolved. In the time being, the KO community is being prepared for post high school life as well as having a reason to come closer and create stronger bonds with their peers.