New system enhances collaboration and enriches community
Regis College is a private Roman Catholic university nestled in the quiet Boston suburb of Weston, Massachusetts. Initially founded as a women’s college, in 2007 Regis became co-educational and now enrolls just under 2,000 total students. Regis is frequently honored as one of Princeton Review’s Top Regional Colleges.
Effective campus security at Regis is dependent on collaboration between various parties including Campus Police, IT and departments in control of access to their own buildings. The teams found it challenging to find the information they needed within their two disparate, end-of-life access control and video management systems.
We had to log into each system separately to look up, find, and corroborate information,“ says Sean Maher, Chief of Police, Regis College. “It was also difficult to collaborate across our various stakeholders.
With the construction of the new Maria residence hall about to begin, Regis saw the opportunity to replace their setup and unify access control and video management across campus.
To help modernize their systems, capabilities and usability across the board, Regis brought in systems integrator CGL Electronic Security, Inc. CGL’s Senior Account Executive, Brendan Cavanaugh, gathered requirements and recommended an integrated S2 system including an S2 NetBox Extreme for access control and event monitoring, an S2 NetVR 700, and distributed S2 Network Nodes. “S2’s ease of use, all-user perspective and distributed architecture represented the best fit with the most potential,” says Cavanaugh.
The new system allows Regis to easily assign access levels across different departments, buildings and users. Residence halls are outfitted with door and elevator-based access control, with users managed by Residential Life, while the childcare center can provision access to parents not directly associated with the college during specified hours. The browser-based system enables upwards of 50 users to collaborate under the leadership of Campus Police.
Departments such as Student Life found creative ways to bake in concepts like “gamification” through social tracking. Using a card reader and power supply outfitted into a briefcase as a mobile check-in station, Student Life tracks which students have attended the most events on campus like dances or festivals and provides them with rewards or recognition.
Using cameras, Campus Police can now quickly solve any issues that arise, from theft to traffic incidents. “In the old system, we had to go through hours of film, but with S2’s forensics we are able to easily narrow in on the relevant five to ten minute sections to find the evidence we need,” observes Maher.
The new S2 system allows Regis College’s various parties to seamlessly assign and track access throughout campus as well as to identify and respond to incidents much more quickly. Despite the expansion of capabilities, less time is now spent on training. “We used to have to train people constantly, but the system is so easy to use that far less training is needed,” says Mike Stella, Network and Server Manager, Regis College. On top of that, different departments are empowered to use the system in new ways, leading to creative and unforeseen use cases that benefit the community. “We’re still discovering new uses. The system is so multi-purposeful – it’s unbelievable,” concludes Maher.