NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Effective March 1, all Tennessee State University students, faculty, staff and administrators will be required to wear and display their identification badges while on campus or attending campus events, the Office of Emergency Management has announced.
Failure to comply with the new policy may result in employee disciplinary action, student judicial action or removal from University property.
With a recent rash of break-ins and vandalisms attributed to people not associated with TSU, officials say the new policy is intended to readily distinguish University personnel and students from visitors and unwelcomed guests.
“Our primary concern is always to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, employees and visitors,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management. “Safety on our campus is priority number one, and with the new policy, we want to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are safe at all times.”
Since employees already have ID cards, which they carry in their wallets or pockets, the University has purchased clip-on ID badge holders to be distributed to everyone by the march 1 deadline, Johnson said.
Students will have custom TSU lanyards for their ID cards, he added.
Campus wide, faculty and staff have embraced the new ID requirement, saying that they have no problem with wearing their badges, as long as the policy is intended to improve security and safety.
“If it is for the safety of our students, faculty and staff, I am all for it,” said Dr. Veronica Oates, associate professor of Family and Consumer Sciences and president of the Faculty Senate.
Yvonne Sanders, president of the Staff Senate, has also given the new policy her full endorsement.
“This is one change I have no problem with,” Sanders said adding, “If this helps to provide security and safety for our students, faculty and staff, I will gladly wear my name badge.”
Along with this new safety policy, Johnson said, is the introduction of a new identification card system, which will give employees more than just access to campus.
“The goal is to add value to the card, where in the very near future, an employee will be able to use their ID card to access buildings on campus, just like students, use it as a meal card, checkout library materials, and make purchases like a debit card. It will contain encrypted contactless technology to ensure secure transactions,” Johnson said.
He said the new ID card, with software managed by Stanley Security, would include a color photo, name, ID number and campus classification. On the back of each ID card would be a large magnetically encoded stripe with the wearer’s ID number and additional pertinent data.
“However, we are replacing the key FOB (for students) with ID Cards containing a Proximity Chip, along with a magnetic strip on the rear of the card that provides greater capabilities, such as access control to residence halls, computer labs, athletic events, concerts, digital media labs, Post Office Services, and several other academic locations,” Johnson said.
The ultimate goal here, Johnson added, is to increase campus security, streamline safety practices and increase customer service.
“Implementing this new policy also provides a measure of accountability we would not otherwise have,” he said.
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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.