3 minute read

Empowering a Safe and Secure Experience with OneCard

10/17/2023 9:00:00 AM

On this episode of FOCUS, Doug Vanderpoel joins from Mount Holyoke College to share insights into how his institution uses the TouchNet OneCard Campus ID system to enhance the campus experience. From student ID management to ensuring campus safety and smart data monitoring, Mount Holyoke College has developed numerous unique and innovative uses for their OneCard system.


Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women’s college in the U.S., was established in 1837 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. It is home to over 2,000 students and 80 major buildings across the campus’ 800 acres. The college is a longtime TouchNet client, having implemented nearly every solution offered in the past 25 years. Most notable is the OneCard system, which Mount Holyoke has tailored to meet a wide range of needs.

An integrated campus ID program

OneCard simplifies the student experience on campus. Students at Mount Holyoke use OneCard for their student ID, access to dorms and other campus buildings, meal plan swipes in the dining hall, tickets to events, vending, tracking packages, and even for POS transactions.

After the school got the initial functions of OneCard up and running, they sought more ways to integrate it into campus life. Most recently, they’ve partnered with USEFULL, a TouchNet Ready Partner, to provide reusable takeout containers in the dining hall, which are monitored and paid for through OneCard. The campus also has 24/7 coffee machines that are integrated with OneCard so students can use their ID for payment. Faculty can even use their IDs to activate the institution’s gas and fuel stations to fill up the institution’s fleet vehicles.

Campuswide safety measures

The safety of students is paramount to Mount Holyoke College, as is evident in the measures they take to monitor access to dorms and buildings with OneCard. Mount Holyoke uses the system to grant or deny access to specific areas of the campus at any given time based on predetermined criteria, and on case-by-case situations as needed. When the school hosts conferences, attendees are given limited access with a visitor ID through OneCard for entry to the dining hall, presentation areas, and on-campus lodging accommodations for the duration of the conference.

Mount Holyoke has also connected various sensors with the Master Security Monitor feature of OneCard to detect irregularities at sensitive places on campus. The system alerts campus staff when emergency showers and eyewash stations are used in labs, sensors are tripped in the art museum, and even when there is unexpected motion around the on-campus horse stables.

Additionally, Mount Holyoke has connected panic buttons to the system as well for students and faculty to contact public safety in the case of emergencies. These panic buttons are also placed across campus in areas like the HR department, cash POS locations, practice rooms in the music department and more. If a button is pressed, public safety is notified immediately to respond to the location.

OneCard as a data source

The OneCard system is constantly gathering data, which Mount Holyoke decided to put to work in making informed decisions. It has given valuable insights into student behavior surrounding meal plans, dining hours, and dormitory capacity. The integration of the system with POS systems also aids in tracking popular food items, easing the product ordering process. Additionally, the ability to generate reports on dormitory usage and visitor patterns helps optimize campus resources.

The key to implementation

Having the right partner can make all the difference when setting up a system like OneCard. Listening to your teams and being communicative is one of the easiest ways to gain faculty and student adoption. “Just build good relationships and listen to people's issues and problems and know your system and understand that you can have an effect on that,” said Vanderpoel.

As Mount Holyoke stands to prove, OneCard can be used in countless ways across campus. With the right approach and the right team, your institution can unlock the full potential of technology to enhance the overall student experience.