Building on the results of last year’s pilot program to try to make guest check-in at student resident halls more convenient for members of the NYU community, the Public Safety, Housing, and Residential Education Departments are collaborating with the Inter-Residence Hall Council (IRHC) on a new pilot for the 2005-06 academic year. Using the same cluster of residence halls near Union Square Park - Palladium, University Hall, Carlyle, Coral Towers, and 13th Street - the new pilot will replace the procedure used in last year’s pilot, which relied upon web-based pre-registration of guests, with a procedure based on swiping NYU ID cards.

In this pilot, NYU students living in any of the residence halls in the cluster will be able to visit friends at any of the other residence halls simply by swiping their cards through a reader upon entry, much as a resident would. An important element of the pilot is that guests — and residents — will also be required to swipe their cards upon exiting.

NYU students who are visiting a cluster resident but are not from within the cluster themselves will need the resident to come downstairs to greet them and simultaneously swipe cards, but they will not be required to leave their ID with Public Safety officers (hosts do not have to accompany guests downstairs when they are leaving, but guests will be required to swipe out as they exit). As has been the policy in the past, non-NYU visitors will be required to have the host come downstairs to greet them and sign them in, and the visitor will have to leave his or her ID with the Public Safety until his or her departure, and the host will have to sign the guest out.

The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated at the end of the 2005-06 academic year; if the program is deemed successful, it is expected that it will be expanded campus-wide in the following years.

Jules Martin, Vice President for Public Safety, said, “Students have made it clear that they would like a guest policy that makes it more convenient to visit and to be visited, thereby better fostering a sense of community. The University wants to honor that student wish but without compromising a high level of safety in the residence halls.

“Last year’s pilot made use of a system that allowed residents to pre-register other students from the Union Square area over the internet; the idea was to be able to cut out the step that has long existed in our guest procedure requiring the resident to come downstairs to sign the guest in and out. In evaluating that pilot, we found that it still generated longer lines than we would have liked in the entryways to residence halls, and the technology did not reduce the waiting time to the extent we would have liked.

“In the past few months, we have given significant thought to re-engineering the procedure. This year’s pilot is based on the NYU ID card, which will cut down on intermediary steps and hasten entry into the building, recognize the special status of NYU community members, and still provide a high degree of safety and authentication.

“I do need to emphasize one point: it will be crucially important for students - both guests and residents - to remember to swipe their cards on the way out of the building. Without that element, we cannot be sure whether guests have left. If we do not have a high degree of compliance with outgoing swiping - and IRHC leaders have pledged their full support and commitment towards ensuring that the pilot is a success for all parties involved - we will most likely consider this pilot a failure, and we will not be able to extend this program campus-wide.”

Trisha Trigilio, Residential Advocacy Co-Chair of the IRHC, said, “This pilot is a significant step forward for the residents of New York University. The Administration has been extremely receptive to the needs of residents, and after much effort, has established a pilot that leaves all parties satisfied. Exchanging the paper sign-in process for a simple swipe-out provides residents with greater freedom and offers an opportunity to promote community development across the Union Square Area. The Inter-Residence Hall Council is eager for this pilot to begin and encourages residents to exercise this privilege with the proper measure of responsibility. We look forward to the success of this program.”

All residence halls other than the five residence halls in the Union Square cluster - Palladium, University, Coral Towers, Carlyle, and 13th Street - will continue to abide by the existing guest check-in procedure. For those residence halls in the cluster, there will be three different procedures during the pilot:

  • An NYU guest who lives in the cluster: visitors from elsewhere in the cluster will be able to enter any cluster building simply by swiping their ID cards upon entry; they can then proceed upstairs. They can exit on their own, but must swipe their ID cards upon exit.
  • An NYU guest who does not live in the cluster: holders of NYU ID cards who do not live in the cluster must be met in the lobby by their host. The host’s and guest’s ID cards are swiped together, and the guest can proceed upstairs. The host will not need to sign out his or her guest, but the guest must swipe out when leaving.
  • A non-NYU guest: in this circumstance, the host must come down to meet the guest. The guest must be signed in and yield an ID. The guest must be accompanied by the host upon leaving, and the ID is returned.

New York University was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. It is one of the largest private universities and a leader in attracting international students and scholars in the U.S.; in its 26 residence halls, it houses some 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to housing for law students and medical students. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

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