New badges for staff, faculty and students are coming to the Health Sciences Center, and wearing them when the building is closed to the public will soon be the rule.
The badges, with photo and employee title, will be similar to those already worn by staff, faculty and students at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Employees who already have UWMC or HMC badges will not need to get the new cards.
For now, the ID badges will only be required after hours (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.), weekends and holidays. During regular work hours, wearing them will be encouraged, but not required, for most employees, said Stephanie Steppe, director of Health Sciences Academic Services and Facilities. Certain groups of employees, generally those working in security areas or animal care areas, will be expected to wear the badges whenever working.
At the same time, the Health Sciences Center is phasing out the orange-colored “Building Use Permits” that employees have carried and used to indicate that they are authorized to be in the building after hours. When you get a new photo badge, you will no longer need to carry the orange card.
However, employees who have the thick plastic “prox” cards, used at the machines controlling entrances after hours, will need to keep those. The new badges will authorize you to be in the building, but will not get you through the doors.
Steppe noted that her department expects to issue approximately 8,000 of these new photo badges. In the first phase of the project, three units have been selected to test the system, beginning in early February. Photos will be taken and badges issued through departments, with departmental administrators providing lists of the staff, faculty and students.
The photo ID system has been centrally funded, Steppe said, and departments will not be charged for the photos or the badges. However, there will be a $10 charge for replacing a lost or missing badge.
Once everyone is “badged,” probably by the end of June, the requirement to wear the badge after hours will go into effect, and people without visible badges will be stopped by security and reminded of the requirement.
Non-health-sciences faculty, staff or students entering the building after hours to use the library will not need badges. Steppe said that part of the wider security initiative is construction of a separate entrance directly into the Health Sciences Library, so that after-hours library users will not need to be in building corridors. In addition, the corridors that link UW Medical Center and the rest of the Health Sciences Center will be secured after hours. These two additional physical changes to the Health Sciences Building should take place within the next year.
Steppe noted that deans of the health sciences schools have endorsed the program requiring badges. “This is a very large and complex building,” she said, “with teaching, research, clinical and administrative functions. To reduce security risks, and to comply with recent national security requirements, this is one of the steps we need to take.”
Paul Siscel in the Classroom Services and Building Management unit of Health Sciences Academic Services and Facilities is the program manager for the new badge program. He can be reached at 543-6729.