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EagleCard security raises concerns for residence

Student%27s+EagleCards+still+give+them+access+to+halls+they+no+longer+live+in.+Snyamcut+is+one+that+students+have+been+able+to+get+into+%7C+The+Easterner+Archives
Student's EagleCards still give them access to halls they no longer live in. Snyamcut is one that students have been able to get into | The Easterner Archives

Student's EagleCards still give them access to halls they no longer live in. Snyamcut is one that students have been able to get into | The Easterner Archives

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University

Student's EagleCards still give them access to halls they no longer live in. Snyamcut is one that students have been able to get into | The Easterner Archives

By Rebecca Pettingill, Contributing Writer

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EWU residence halls require key cards for entrance and EWU Police patrol regularly. Recently though, a security concern has been raised. Students who no longer live in student housing may still have easy access to their previous residence.

EagleCards are pre-magnetized during the summer for the different dorms at Access Control in Tawanka Hall. Each keycard has its own identification number in the top right corner which allows employees to know which card is authorized for which hall.

Students who lived in the residence hall at some point may still be authorized access into that hall.

While this is not true for all students, some have made it past the de-authorization process. For those who lose their card or switch residences, Access Control will see that the student was authorized for a building they no longer need access to and will de-authorize the unnecessary access.

The percentage that slips through the cracks in this process is what raises security concerns.

Peyton Gibbs, a freshman and  employee of Access Control, explained that the issue is the housing office only sends over a new list of students who need access the upcoming year, not who are leaving and need to be deauthorized.

So, they only add to the list of authorized EagleCards, instead of clearing the system every year.

Someone who moves out of the dorms at the end of the year and does not lose their EagleCard still has access to the dorm they had been in. This potentially puts students’ safety at risk.

Officer Randolph Moore of the EWU Police Department said this is a crime.

While a student’s card has current access, the intent was for the duration of their residence in the hall. Using the card to gain access when they no longer reside there is trespassing.

Moore explained that while there has not been significant problems with this, there was one incident last year where a student had reported that they had lost their EagleCard and went through the process of obtaining a new one. They never actually lost the first one, but instead gave it to a friend who was from Tacoma.

The first card was never deactivated like it should have been, resulting in the student having two working EagleCards. They then allowed their friend to come and go whenever they pleased and stay in the dorm.   

“That raises a red flag for me, being an officer,” said Moore. “I didn’t even know.”

Brock Sieb, Area Coordinator of Brewster Hall and Apartments, has also expressed concern over this. “We’ve also complained to them [Access Control] that from time to time we know that random things happen like that.”

Following that, Sieb  said that he would make sure a list was sent to Access Control immediately.

Within an hour of speaking with Sieb, I received a call from Melanie Potts from the housing office, stating that they give a list of those who should have deauthorized cards to Access Control daily.

With conflicting reports of how EagleCard authorization into the dorms is being handled, it is important that this issue is brought to attention now and that the right steps be taken to fix it.

“It’s not about if [it needs to be adressed], Moore said. “It needs to be addressed.”

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EagleCard security raises concerns for residence