As the Carleton University community knows well, the Campus Card is the official identification card for use while on campus. In addition to being a simple ID, it acts as a library card, gym card, campus debit card, and door access card–all in one.

In September 2022, we saw the Campus Card produce record breaking stats, with more than 2.1 million swipes in total. Not only does this record surpass the number of swipes in any month during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also eclipses the record number of swipes before the pandemic began. October 2022 also saw elevated–but not record-breaking–levels of card access swipes.

The total number of card access swipes was broken down into 1.8 million door swipes and more than 300,000 swipes at retail locations. In September, the card was predominately used by students to access residence buildings, but Carleton community members can use their card to access dining services, the library, athletics, vending machines, and much more.

Carleton’s Information Technology Services manages this card access technology through Ancillary Systems, which services the Campus Card system and applications. The department supports the production of the actual card itself and the “touch points” where the Campus Card can be used across campus.

“The Campus Card itself is more than just a credential, it is a token that electronically represents who somebody is. It lets people interact with things on campus, open doors, purchase items, access the gym etc. But it’s a ubiquitous tool that helps them do what they need to do on campus, for as long as they have a relationship with the university.”

– Dave Brown, Manager of Ancillary Systems

Additionally, ITS relies on an interconnected network of departments and services to provide this campus-wide tool. Ancillary Systems works with CBORD to provide the technology for this integrated security solution, while Campus Safety maintains the relevant policies, Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) installs the card readers, and the Campus Card office administers card access and availability. This critical tool could not exist without a network of departments working to provide and maintain it.

What this new record indicates is a return to normalcy on Carleton’s campus after being greatly impacted by COVID-19. Students are now back in class, living in residence, and eating in Dining Services facilities, and staff and faculty members are also returning to campus in some capacity. This record number of Campus Card access swipes indicates that the Carleton campus is being restored to its normal, vibrant self.

This story is a part of ITS’s Year in Review for 2022/23. Read more at our Year in Review homepage, or follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #ITSYearinReview. Thanks for reading!