New Cat Cards and ID numbers strengthen security at Western

This semester, Western Carolina University made two changes to enhance security for its students. The first change was a new system for student ID numbers, and the second was the distribution of new Cat Cards. These two items promise to protect personal information of students and to provide convenience and security with identification and the numerous existing uses of Cat Cards. An interview with Mr. Jeff Bewsey from the Department of Residential Living was recently conducted to learn more about the new Cat Cards. According to Mr. Bewsey, the university switched to new student ID numbers because state legislature mandated that social security numbers no longer be used as identification numbers. By switching to the new “92 numbers,” Western was able to stop using social security numbers and create a university-wide system of numbers for identification. This change prevented the social security numbers of students from being used without their consent, therefore enhancing their security on campus. WCU also switched to a new Banner system this school year, which provides services such as reporting capability, finances, human resources, accounting, administration, and budgets. The implementation of this Banner system made it easy to assign new ID numbers because the system required new numbers anyway. Thanks to Banner, the new system and the new ID numbers appeared at the same time. The new Cat Cards can now be used to enter dormitories in addition to the keys that have been used in the past. The Department of Residential Living provided a new security system that made this process possible. The new cards have antennas and radio frequencies that allow students to pass them in front of sensors to unlock doors to their dorms. The cards are specific to students’ dorms, so they will only open the doors to the dorm in which a student lives. In the future, the Cat Cards may also be used to unlock doors to other locations on campus such as computer labs. The new cards provide greater security because they record when students enter the dorms. This occurs to ensure that the students who live in a given dorm are the ones entering by using their Cat Cards. In the future, the Banner system will also be able to match students’ faces to photos in the system if the students need access to the dorms but do not have their Cat Cards. By implementing the use of new Cat Cards and new identification numbers, Western Carolina University has enhanced its security measures to protect its students, faculty, and staff. The changes that have taken place are beneficial ones because they keep students safe and they modernize the campus’s systems of entering dorms and identifying students. With the new Cat Cards and identification numbers, WCU is looking out for its student population, and it will continue to do so in the days to come.