University rolls out first tap-and-enter systems

Some of the biggest hubs for student life are set to receive the new GWorld card readers in the coming months, forcing those who do not yet have a GWorld 2.0 card to make the switch.

The new card readers – which use tap rather than swipe technology – will be installed in Gelman Library Nov. 15. Residence halls have already been switching over, and J Street dining locations will change within the next few months, Ed Schonfeld, senior associate vice president of administration, said.

More than one-fifth of the 500 readers on campus have already been changed.

While Schonfeld said no hard deadline to switch to the new GWorld 2.0 card exists, students without the new cards will not be able to get into locations with the updated card readers.

“There is no specific deadline to get the new card,” Schonfeld said. “However, the new tap to access readers being installed over the coming months throughout our campuses will only work with the new GWorld cards.”

The University had encouraged students and faculty to get new GWorld 2.0 cards by the end of October, giving an Oct. 22 deadline before new readers began to be installed on a wider scale. More than 29,000 cards have been issued, up from 19,000 at the end of August, Schonfeld said.

“I think the vast majority of students have their cards, but for those who have yet to receive them, we will put signs up two weeks in advance” of the card readers changing, Schonfeld said. There is no charge to get a new card.

As with any new technology, issues with the new system have occurred, but Schonfeld said the number of malfunctions is small.

“Feedback has been very positive,” he said. “I think people understand that the new cards are an improvement.”

Some off-campus locations have not yet switched to the new system, and some have dropped the GWorld system all together, as the University requires off-campus GWorld vendors to pay the cost of upgrading to the new machines themselves, Schonfeld said.

“The costs of the equipment were the same or even less than they were under the old system,” Schonfeld said, declining to name a specific price.

He said a few vendors, including Esteem Cleaners, have chosen to leave the program, saying those who dropped the system were discouraged by the lack of student business, not by the new system.

Schonfeld said the University is currently concentrating solely on implementing the new GWorld readers, rather than on accepting new GWorld vendors. The news means that McFadden’s – long considered a new vendor possibility – will remain without GWorld at least until 2011.

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