Fob systems, such as the one pictured at the Scott Studio Theatre, will allow students into the building after hours.

More fobs for campus

Fob-entry systems have been installed in Fuhr Hall and the Scott Studio Theatre in order to give music and theater students easier access to building space and facilities after public building hours. Both the music and theater departments partnered with the head of campus safety, Brain Hessler of Director of Operations of Student Engagement in order to pay for the systems and get them installed.

“We worked out a deal between student engagement and the music department (as well as the theater department) where we would split the cost. So, each department cost-shared it and in doing so, we were able to fund the project to give students that access,” Hessler said.

The agreement for the cost-share was made in order to make the fob-entry installations possible, an idea in the past that was said to have cost too much to install during the time. The installation in Fuhr Hall cost $4,377 and the installation in the Scott Studio Theatre cost $3,450; costs varied due to the installation needs in each building, such as the buildings’ structure and wire length needed. The Gray Center will also see a fob-entry system installed in the next month, with a projected cost
of $4,864.

The Student Association also purchased a portable fob reader for use at events in order to count students’ attendance — the purchase cost
about $1,700.

Initial installation cost of the fob-entry system is higher as the operating system that controls each entryway has to be put in place. After initial installation, each entryway can be added to the system at a lower cost.

Hessler talked with Dr. Louie Eckhardt, assistant professor of music and department chair, at the beginning of the year about the possibility of having a fob-entry system installed in Fuhr Hall in order to limit the need for campus safety to come unlock the building after hours, doing this in order for students to use facilities and practice. 

“We have a lot of students who come in and practice in the middle of the night…we just thought this would be a way to allow students to have that kind of access so they can come and work,” Eckhardt said. “Our students are going to have more access to the building so that they can come in and practice…this just gives them more options to do that.”

Dr. Annette Vargas, associate professor of theatre and associate dean of arts and humanities, learned about the fob-entry system being installed in Fuhr Hall and worked with Hessler to have one installed at the theater as well. Vargas saw similar needs in the theater department, allowing students to be able to come in after hours in order to work.

“Our students are constantly wanting to be able to use the space to rehearse and to practice,” Vargas said. “So one of the things that I wanted to do for the building was give fob access for theater majors to be able to rehearse in the evenings…the reason why I wanted the fob access for it because previously for the students to be able to get into the space after 8 o’clock at night, they had to call public safety, public safety had to call me, I had to approve it.” 

The music and theater departments are currently in the process of setting building hours in which students can fob in and enter when the buildings are closed to everyone else.