University life is all about freedom and exploration – for the students. If you are in a supervisory role, your job becomes incredibly complex – how to protect the students without seeming to impose or limit their experience. At some points, you will simply have to put your foot down.
However, there are some ways to optimize security in the background as well. The better your security infrastructure, the more invisible it becomes to the end user (in this case, your students). Here are just a few of the ways that you can optimize security at your university, providing balance to student life without compromising safety.
Reserve the Right to Change Infrastructure
In order to optimize university security, you will outsource with an expert partner. The most relevant skill that a security partner can give you is not an impenetrable wall that will never be compromised – a dedicated, malicious presence will always be able to eventually get around any level of security. Your major concern when dealing with a partner should be about response. How quickly can your partner upgrade your security patterns, infrastructure and deployment once a breach has been identified?
In terms of the end user, reserving the right to change the infrastructure is all about education. Give students and parents the heads up that quick security changes may become necessary based upon the actions of malicious parties. Reassure them that widespread action will only be taken in the event of a credible threat. An upfront education will create a feeling of protection, and you will face less accusations of arbitrary activity if your students understand the circumstances of a big change.
Another part of student education is to inform students that all security hardware is and will always be property of the school. This includes locks, keys and the access levels that are required to access and deploy such solutions. Make this clear so that every student understands that he or she shares the responsibility of security with the school, and for the protection of the entire body, this proprietary right may need to be evoked if illicit activity is suspected by an individual.
Invest in the Latest Infrastructure
Universities are hotbeds of digital and physical activity, and thieves know this. They are quick to take advantage of the naivete of students and any unpreparedness coming from faculty and staff. It can be difficult to keep an optimal account of visitors to the campus as well as access to weak points in the security infrastructure – unless you have an investment in a security partner with the right infrastructure.
Problems that used to plague college campuses no longer happen any more with a proper access structure as well as a strong, centralized digital infrastructure. Your security partner should be able to immediately identify and report any potential security breaches to a dedicated authority on campus. The more straightforward this line of communication, the more quickly any potential security breaches can be handled.
The most effective security infrastructures have digital and physical components that interact closely with each other. The technique of master key design and security lock installation are very important, and so is the ability to automate the reporting of failed efforts to breach them. Electronic access devices are invaluable for just this purpose. However, the design must be up to date in order to best serve the student body through a streamlined communications structure. Ensure that your security partner is on the cutting edge of security technologies both old and new.
Syncing access to certain parts of the campus with the electronic access system is a central component of great campus security. Is there really any reason for students to use the gym or the science lab with expensive research at 3:30 am? If not, or if the consensus is that reducing access slightly will bolster security to an acceptable degree, a master schedule should be created.
A master schedule is a huge part of the connection between your campus and your security partner. Proper syncing across a widespread campus is just as much an art as it is a science, because every physical campus is different. The schedule agreed to on campus will be different as well.
The right security partner will also be able to coordinate automated schedules of certain buildings that represent heightened security risks. Generating a working schedule with layers and access overrides can seem a bit overwhelming, but this is exactly what your security partner is there to deploy. In order to find the right partner, ask as many questions as possible during the beginning of the process. Every minute of every building must be accounted for, and your partner should be able to adequately describe to you how this will be achieved.
Your security company should also be able to coordinate with the internal authorities you already have working on campus, bolstering them with heightened security features. The campus may already have a Lost and Found – shouldn’t this Lost and Found be empowered to deploy solutions in the case of a lost electronic key? Security is never static, because mistakes are always being made. The height of security is real time response. Do not commit to a security partner until you find the one who can help you achieve this.
Great Valley Lockshop is the security partner ready to deal with your current security weaknesses and strengthen your overall security in an optimized way. Not only will your students feel more protected, they will have this protection without feeling imposed upon. Call us today at 610-644-5334 for a free estimate or ask us any questions you may have about our university locksmith services. We are ready to begin the process of making your campus safer and stronger.