Card-swipe system coming to library

Story by Zack Katz, Copy Editor

In recent weeks, students have complained about community members overusing  student-funded computers. This has prompted Student Senate, in partnership with Facilities Management to try to resolve the issue. The result is the planned use of a card-swipe system for the McIntyre Library after hours.

Information and Technology Commission Director Christian Paese said the senate had a student employee of Learning and Technology Services come forward with concerns about who was able to access computers within McIntyre Library. The LTS employee said she felt a lot of students were forced to stand around waiting for a computer during finals week.

“From our commission’s point of view, this just isn’t acceptable given how much we spend on computers,” Paese said. “If these were students using the computers, we wouldn’t have an issue.”

After some research, the Senate found complaints arose as a result of the number of community members abusing the guest login. Paese said while UW-Eau Claire is a public campus, using computers for more than a respectable amount of time is discouraged.

Student-funded resoures such as the computers in the 24-hour lab and the rest of the library are intended primarily for those who are attending the university. Learning community members — in many cases homeless — were a common occurrence, is what prompted Senate to look to implement the card-swipe system.

Freshman Andrea Giachino agrees being unfamiliar with who is entering the library is an uncomfortable thought.

“The way our campus is set up, it’s not always easy to study exclusively in your room,” Giachino said. “It seems picky to say, but the reality is it can be frustrating when we could be using computers for academic purposes.”

While Giachino said dedicating a small number of computers to non-student community members is acceptable, the university should stay conscious of how they are being put to use.

Facilities management will be funding the installation of this card-swipe system. LTS member Greg Rineck said the issue has subsided, and no complaints have been received as of recently due in part to a notification system.

“We reported once in January when we saw an inappropriate login,” said Rineck. “That triggers an email off to an administrator who then emails an officer, and they took care of the problem.”

To date, no members of the community or school have come out in opposition to the security measures. Senate members believe there is an unspoken consensus among students in favor of the changes.

Paese said he feels the issue will be solved once the card-swiping begins to moderate the usage of non-students who are unable to access the facility without the use of a blugold card.

“The stance the university has taken is that we do have a guest login for community members who just want to pop in and check their email,” said Paese. “But there are certain community members who are taking advantage of that.”

After going through cases of arrest on charges such as camping, the Student Senate said they’re glad to see the issues in the library came forward and they were able to do something about them.

Moving forward, students can expect the card-swipe system to be installed on the main entrance of the library sometime in the near future.