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MIT Expands Security System

Magnetic Card Readers Now in Place in Several Buildings on Campus

By Nelson C. Hsu

To address security concerns around its perimeter, MIT has installed magnetic cardkey readers on several buildings on its east campus.

The readers, located on Buildings E23, E25, 66 and the Medical Center complex, will be activated on December 1.

They are part of a pilot program designed to increase security and accessibility to buildings on the perimeter of MIT's campus.

According to MIT Police Chief Anne P. Glavin, security is a concern on the campus perimeter because anyone from off the streets may access the buildings.

"We're hopeful that the card readers hold many answers to the security problem, but the purpose of any pilot program is to debug the system," Glavin said.

"The system must give enough freedom of access so members of the MIT community can come and go within reason while trying to make the buildings more secure," Glavin added.

Harvard has also experienced recent security problems on the perimeter of its campus. An assistant professor was beaten in John F. Kennedy Park nearly two months ago, and a female undergraduate was raped near Memorial Drive in September.

Currently, conventional keys and locks are used on most non-dormitory MIT buildings, which are locked for the night between 6 and 11 p.m., depending on their location. Card readers will allow 24-hour access to the buildings for all members of the MIT community with ID cards.

Students believe that the card readers will strengthen security at the affected buildings.

"Especially at the Med Center, there's an access code right now," said MIT student Linda J. Ungsunan. "A lot of times people that aren't a part of MIT can just get in by figuring out the code. The card will make it a bit more safe."

Last spring, workers in the buildings approached the MIT police with concerns about security. The discussion which followed resulted in the current program.

If the program is successful, card readers will eventually be installed throughout the university, said Glavin.

Already all dormitories have been equipped with card readers.

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