By VICTORIA MESCALL
Editor in Chief
Mobile Access is a new way for Sacred Heart students to gain access to classrooms, buildings, and their residence halls using their cell phones or smart watches.
All SHU students are required to carry their SHUCard on their person at all times, but this new campus feature would allow students to unlock doors on campus using Bluetooth technology for key card access within a given proximity.
“Mobile Access is strictly optional and designed for convenience, which is why there is a charge for it,” said Bryan Palmer from Access Controls. “For doors that are outside of buildings, Mobile Access has a long range of function that stretches ten to fifteen feet away from the door so students will not have to pause and pull out an ID to gain entrance.”
According to the SHU Mobile Access page of the Sacred Heart website, “You don’t need to launch an application or interrupt what you are doing on your phone in order to gain access to a door. SHU Mobile Access does not replace your SHUCard, but it provides a convenient alternative since most people have their phones at hand at all times.”
Mobile Access is available for all campus residence halls, the Main Academic Building, Melady Hall, the Ryan Matura Library, the Pitt Center, the West Campus East and West Buildings and Guest House, and the Center for Healthcare Education.
When issued, mobile credentials are tied to the individual phone registered and are non-transferable and non-refundable. If a student changes or replaces their phone, they just purchase a new mobile access credential. The cost of the credential is ten dollars.
The campus response to the new feature has been positive, but there has been some concern for student safety.
“I think the mobile access is a good idea,” said junior Maheen Qureshi. “But I think it should be free, just as the shuttle app is, and the blackboard app. It’s a tool that should be given to the students to make their days and transactions run smoother.”
“I think mobile access is a bad idea because it is duplicating a key. Someone could steal your phone and get into your room, as if you lost your key. Having a lesser amount of keys gives you lesser room for error,” said junior Kyle Horsa.
“I think that there is abuse of all systems, so you can’t be worried about every little thing,” said senior Pat Faria. “But I think it’s dumb that you have to pay for the service, even though I understand the university is a business. Why charge college students?”
The app is called HID Mobile Access, and it can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, or from the link in the global email to the university community.
“Students can set the app features to only work using a passcode or a touch ID,” said Palmer. “It has been used for a couple years corporately even Netflix uses it. And it is very safe and secure.”