Fifteen years ago this week, The Argus published some exciting news: WesCards would no longer be used only for meals. The Wesleyan ID card would soon, or at least the following year, go above and beyond the call of duty: it would serve as a key to open building doors around campus. The WesCard was, as many suspected, a goddamn marvel of modern science.
Meredith Orren, News Editor as of September, 1995 (and author of a hilarious April, 1996 Argus article about the boundless thrills of the interwebs—read it if you missed it the second time around), reports:
Under the new system, there will be slots outside building doors through which students can run their ID cards. The cards will serve as an outside door key while continuing to function as a meal plan card, [then Director of Public Safety Harry C.] Kinne said. The new system will also include a local alarm which will sound if a door does not shut securely behind someone.
Kinne, mastermind behind the project, also labeled it “the third stage of the current Telecommunications Project.” Phase One: Outdoor blue-light campus phones. Phase Two? Slightly more relevant to your daily life in 2010: “the installation of the internet and computer programs in dorms.” Next time you use your WesCard to get into a campus building, stop and thank Harry C. Kinne. Seriously—say, “Thank you, Mr. Kinne.” After twenty years at Wes (titles included Director of Public Safety, Dean of Student Services, and Director of Facilities Operations), Kinne moved on to serve as Director of Safety and Security at Dartmouth.
Be prepared for disappointment if you want to put some Coke on your WesCard. David Markowitz ’11 points out that the vending machines (all except the ice cream machine) near SciLi now have card readers… but that none of the card readers work. Oops.
Last year, ResLife decided to implement a guest card access policy–anyone living in a building with card access could request access to that building for up to three people, but it was only good from 10:00 AM-midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Thursday through Saturday. Not anymore. Guests now have 24/7 access, according to the request form. Woo hoo!
(The following buildings currently have card access: Fauver, Clark, WestCo, Nicolson, Hewitt, the Butts, Hi-Rise, 202 Washington, and 230 Washington. 200 Church is also slated to receive card access next month, probably by fall break. Note that the prototype woodframes–14 Warren, 20 Fountain, 25 Fountain, and 231 Pine–also have card access, but residents apparently cannot grant guest access.)
By now, it’s probably fairly common knowledge that you can use your WesCard at the vending machines in Usdan (no points, though–just Middletown Cash that you’ve put on). Until now, those were the only ones. Not anymore. Three of the four vending machines in the basement of Freeman (all but the Powerade one) have been outfitted with WesCard readers:
They aren’t working yet (they all say “NOT IN SERVICE 001” or something to that extent), but I imagine they will be soon. Hopefully this means that every vending machine will soon have this capability. I haven’t noticed any other machines that now take WesCards; if anyone else knows of any, post them in the comments.