Marlok, FOB security ensured by card swipe

Michelle Ma

The hardest part of the process is sliding the card the rightway. Luckily, authenticating a student’s Marlok key with his or herWildCARD only takes a few seconds.

Beginning this week all students with Marlok keys forresidential buildings must verify ownership of their key.

This process, which will continue through the end of October,”adds an extra layer of security for building access,” said MarkD’Arienzo, associate director of Undergraduate Housing and FoodServices. The procedure ensures that only students who should haveaccess to a specific residential building can enter, D’Arienzosaid.

Marlok swipe stations are available during lunch and dinnerhours in the dining halls of three buildings: Allison Hall,Foster-Walker Complex and Sargent Hall. Students must insert theirMarlok, swipe their WildCARD and wait for the green light.

This week and next week stations will be available at the dininghalls. After Nov. 2 students must go to the Foster-Walkerhousekeeping office during business hours and use a self-serviceswipe station for their Marlok, D’Arienzo said.

Ideally, students will take care of the “simple operation”quickly, D’Arienzo said.

“We are hoping more people are doing it sooner than later,” hesaid. “(Otherwise) by (November) students might find themselvesinconvenienced.”

Most students don’t mind leaving the meal line to swipe theirMarlok, said Caroline Kalinoski, who was helping students swipecards in Allison, but some students have been confused about whythey are required to do so. As of Wednesday afternoon, Kalinoski, aWeinberg sophomore, said she thinks more students have gone throughMarlok stations than by this time last year.

“We are about half done so far,” she said. “I’m surprised aboutthat.”

Bobb Hall and McCulloch Hall residents, who don’t use Marloksbeginning this year, also have been confused to see the stations,she said.

Bobb-McCulloch residents are using a remote entry Key-Fob.Called FOBs by Undergraduate Housing, the teardrop-shaped devicesunlock security doors when waved in close proximity to a detector,D’Arienzo said. FOBs must be authenticated using a device similarto that used for Marloks but located only in Sargent.

The FOBs are popular among students who use them, said BashirKudsi, assistant director of housing.

“It looks like this is the trend (for) down the road,” Kudsisaid. “The idea is to expand every summer to more buildings.”

Some students see the check-in process as an unnecessary duty,said Foster-Walker resident assistant Diane Sanders, a McCormickjunior who was helping at one of the swipe stations.

“A lot of people are like, ‘no, thank you,'” Sanders said.

The process also confuses some freshmen, said Foster-Walker RADiana Lebiecki, a Weinberg senior.

“Many freshmen assume since they just checked in they don’t haveto (swipe their Marlok),” she said, adding that the security checkis necessary. “Although there is a security monitor, they can’tcatch everyone.”

The university has used Marlok keys for front doors on dorms forabout 10 years, D’Arienzo said. A magnetic strip on each key allowsoutside access into buildings when inserted and removed.

The system replaced a security key that operated as a regulardoor key. Before the switch to Marloks, when students lost one ofthese security keys, outside door locks were having to be changedconstantly, D’Arienzo said.

Now if a student loses a Marlok key, it is just deactivated,bypassing the need to change door locks and issue new keysoften.

Reach Michelle Ma at [email protected].