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Housing Management and Dining Services

Identification Cards

The Mills ID card, a photo ID issued at orientation, allows the user to do many things on campus. It is used to check out books from the library. Students swipe it to access their meal plans, and students or employees can put “Mills Points” on their ID cards for use at any of the campus dining facilities (if points are bought in bulk discounts of up to 30% are available). The ID is also used as a “key card” to access residence halls, some apartment buildings and the public computer labs in the Lucie Stern and CPM buildings. The card contains computer chips and radio antennae, so it is important to keep it flat, treat it gently and never punch a hole in the ID card.

The card reader system allows a door to stay locked and alarmed at all times. When a person presents a valid ID card, the card reader sends a signal to bypass the alarm for a short time and unlocks the door to permit the person to enter. Students living in Olney, Orchard Meadow, Mary Morse or Ethel Moore halls, as well as the Courtyard Townhouses, use their ID cards to enter the buildings using the card readers. The computer room inside each of these buildings also has card access. The door to each individual's room will still use a metal key, which is issued at the same time as the ID card.

Entering The Building
At the door a person should place their Mills ID card near the card reader, which is a small black box located next to the door. It should be held there long enough for the reader’s red light to change to green; there will then be an audible click that means the door has unlocked. The door should be pulled open to enter; it will relock automatically.

Doors must not be propped or held open. If the door is open for more than 20-30 seconds, a pre-alarm at the door will sound. The pre-alarm will shut off if the door is closed right away; otherwise the building alarm will sound and Public Safety will be notified of the alarm. A Public Safety officer will come to investigate the alarm, turn it off and then reset the building alarm. If anyone accidentally sets off the alarm, she or he should call Public Safety at 510.430.5555. The individual should identify themselves, describe the location of the alarm, and explain that the alarm was set off accidentally (so that Public Safety knows the situation is not an emergency). Public Safety will come to reset the building alarm.

Exiting the Building
As an individual approaches the card reader door to leave the building, a sensor above the door detects motion and its light turns green. The sensor sends a signal to momentarily bypass the alarm so that the door can be opened and people can exit without setting off the alarm. The alarm resets after the people have moved through the doorway. The sensor is designed to detect motion; if one stands still in the doorway long enough for the green light to turn off, the alarm will sound when the door is opened because the sensor hasn’t detected motion and thus hasn’t bypassed the alarm.

Important: One should only exit through the doors that are equipped with the card readers, except in an emergency. Doors labeled with signs stating “Emergency Exit Only, alarm will sound if door is opened” are locked from the outside and will set off an alarm when opened from the inside. Of course, in an emergency these doors should be used to exit the building despite the alarm.

Lost ID Cards
Each individual’s name and Mills ID card number are programmed into the Keyscan software to give access to the appropriate residence hall (if applicable) and the public computer lab doors that are equipped with card readers. Individuals who lose their cards should report the loss immediately to the Building Access Administrator at 510.430.3115 or to the Housing Office at 510.430.2127. The lost card will be deactivated in the software so no one can use it to enter the residence hall or the computer labs. The individual can then be issued a new card (there is a $20 fee for each new card which will cover the cost of the card itself) and that card will be activated in the software. If the card reader does not recognize an ID card, the card holder should call Public Safety at 510.430.5555 to be let into his or her building (Public Safety will ask for a picture ID). To get a lost or damaged card replaced individuals should come to Sage Hall 138, the Housing Management and Dining Services office.

Power Outage
In case of a power outage, the card reader system is equipped with battery backup; the door system will still operate. For a longer power outage several backup systems are in place and will be implemented so individuals can enter the building if it is safe to do so.

Last Updated: 7/5/17