Beginning next week, USC residence halls will require students to present their student ID and scan their fingerprint in order to gain entry to their buildings, according to an email from USC Housing.
The email said the move was made to better ensure safety in USC Housing facilities.
“As part of USC Housing’s continuing effort to make your residence safer we will be installing fingerprint scanners at every building entry point,” the email said. “Once the units are installed each resident will be required to show a valid ID card and to authenticate his/her identity via fingerprint biometrics.”
Guests will still be allowed into the residences but will be required to leave a valid ID in exchange for a guest pass.
The Dept. of Public Safety had no role in this decision.
“I wasn’t even actually a party for the discussion,” DPS Capt. David Carlisle said. “It was a housing decision to implement the fingerprint reader.”
Michael Jackson, vice president for Student Affairs, said the changes are not related to an on-campus shooting that wounded four last Wednesday.
“This is something we have been working on since probably the summer time,” Jackson said.
Jackson said the changes will prevent fewer unwanted guests from visiting the residence halls, especially during large on-campus events, such as tailgates.
“Now there is the technology available to allow us to ensure that the people who live there and who are invited by the people who live there get access to the residences,” Jackson said.
Some students have reacted negatively to the change.
Deena Khattab, a freshman majoring in print and digital journalism and living in Birnkrant Residential College, said she believes the change will be ineffective.
“If you’re motivated to gain access to any of these buildings on campus, you’ll find a way to do it, whether or not there is fingerprinting,” Khattab said.
Other students, however, said they believe the fingerprinting will serve its purpose and improve security.
“It’s better for the students’ safety, and it’s better to be safe then sorry,” said Anna Lea Damir, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering.
Students are required to scan their fingerprint at their local Customer Service Center by 6 p.m. on Friday to register for the system. The services are available at Arts & Humanities for those living in Parkside; Fluor Tower for those in Fluor Tower and Webb Tower; New/North College for those in the North Area; and Pardee Tower for those in the South Area.
Daniel Rothberg contributed to this report.