An Access Journey Part II: Kenyon College

In a campus environment, safety means many things. From safety officers to security cameras, from late night shuttles to mental health services, safety for students is top of mind for many, bringing a passionate involvement and commentary from students, faculty, alumni, and parents. Creating the right level of security requires a fine balance; your plan should blend and enhance the campus experience, not hinder it.

At the very foundation of a security plan, all campuses can benefit from some level of access control, but at CBORD we know there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to implementing, expanding, and maintaining an access control program. We spent time with three campuses—each unique in its implementation of an access program—but all with the same goal: campus safety.

In Part I, we spent time at Northern Virginia Community College. In Part II, we visit with Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Access Profile

In a campus environment, safety means many things. From safety officers to security cameras, from late-night shuttles to mental health services, safety for students is top of mind for many, bringing a passionate involvement and commentary from students, faculty, alumni, and parents. Creating the right level of security requires a fine balance; your plan should blend and enhance the campus experience, not hinder it.

At the very foundation of a security plan, all campuses can benefit from some level of access control—but at CBORD we know there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to implementing, expanding, and maintaining an access control program. We spent time with three campuses—each unique in its implementation of an access program—but all with the same goal: campus safety.

Safety in a Small Town

Carissa Lanning describes Kenyon College as "One of those places that the dorms were unlocked 24/7 and there was just a trust in this small, little town. More recently, we realized that we needed to get with the times and make sure students were safer." So in 2008, Kenyon installed electronic locks on the exterior doors of the dorms and began expanding the access program to include academic buildings as well.

Lanning's official title is Systems Analyst for CS Gold®—but she describes herself as the "Systems Guru". She works with all the departments that the CS Gold system touches—and which currently includes approximately 150 locks. The locations of the locks have expanded beyond the initial exterior residence hall doors and now are in place on the exterior doors of all the academic buildings and on strategic interior doors—mainly science labs housing chemicals.

Preserving Campus Culture

Certain aspects of the pre-access control era at Kenyon were preserved—like all students having privileges to enter every residence hall. "When we expanded to other buildings, our priority was to look for high-traffic areas—the front doors, the back doors—and created an expansion plan from there," explained Lanning.

Lanning organizes access privileges by managing more than 250 access groups that are triggered by CS Gold flags. These flags are related to privileges given to different majors, classes, faculty, etc. She wanted to tailor-fit the access granted to students and faculty as much as possible, preserving the culture of convenience from when anyone could enter anywhere on campus—but now with added peace of mind.

Takeaway: Creating a safer campus environment need not hinder the campus culture. Using flags or the LDAP Directory to drive access can create a seamless transition from an open campus to a secure one.