Best College for the Money

Best College for the Money

If you’re thinking about sending your high school graduate to college, yes, the planning should have taken place a couple years ago, but I’m sure you’ve taken into account the kind of school and academic program your son or daughter is interested in achieving.

Have you thought about security? I bet you have.

Best College for the MoneyAs the ASIS group toured with industry editors, we had the opportunity to get close and personal with officials at Columbia College Chicago. They take security seriously.

The college is the largest private media arts school in Chicago’s South Loop, with 16 buildings and the largest property owner in the area. The students are mainly commuters who use rapid transit to get to school and back home at the end of the day.

Security officers monitor the campus surveillance system, work in a rather small command center and have posts at every building entrance. AlliedBarton security officers and college security patrol on foot, bicycle and Segway. There is a car, but it’s not the most visible feature of the security patrol.

Working with contract security staff, Robert Koverman says they all work together, and there is not a siloed approach. Koverman also said they work closely with the local chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association for controllable costs such as security officers, overhead and management fees.

What sets Koverman apart from other security interests is that he works closely with the IT department at the college. In fact, the IT department became the financier to develop the security infrastructure. The college went from having no access card readers to deploying more than 100 card readers, by installing a Lenel access control platform. The benefit was eliminating low-voltage burglar alarms and implementing network-centric products.

Columbia College is moving toward all IP cameras but still has a few analog in place. They will shortly be working on installing megapixel cameras because of the great relationship with the IT department.

For a college with 11,000 students and four residents’ halls, the overall security plan is to be more compliant as a housing institution and for human needs in the middle of an urban setting.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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