Access Control Policies

The purpose of these policies is to provide adequate building security for persons and property through the control and issuance of access cards, to assure appropriate access to work areas for staff, faculty and students in buildings on the Montclair State University Campus, and to allow greater and specific access by Public Safety and selected maintenance personnel to all campus areas for reasons of health, safety and security.

Broken/Lost Cards | Requisition Forms | How Cards Work | Troubleshooting Your Card | User Responsibilities | Card Care

Broken/Lost Cards

What to Do If You Lose/Misplace Your Card

Original keys or access cards issued to an employee is not chargeable. All employees will be issued keys and access cards as needed to access office, residence, and or work areas. Please report misplaced or stolen cards immediately to the University Police Department. If you find your access card before a new one is issued, your old card can be reinstated. After the replacement is issued, the old card can no longer be used in our system. Replacement of lost/stolen keys or access cards, or failure to return assigned keys or access cards, will result in charges to the person identified as the assignee. There is no charge for the replacement of an incorrect card. The following replacement costs for various levels will prevail:

Replacement Individual key or access card $ 10.00
Replacement Building Master key or access card $ 75.00

Lost Keys/Access Cards

  1. All cards and keys issued through this process are considered the property of the University.
  2. Report the loss or theft of keys and access cards to the University Police and the Facilities Service Desk as soon as possible, so that the card can be deactivated and a report can be filed.
  3. University Police will investigate and document reports of lost University keys and access cards and provide one copy of each report to the Facilities Service Desk.
  4. University Police will provide classroom and office access, if requested, to approved Faculty, Staff, Administration, and Students.
  5. Any keys and access cards that are no longer required should be returned to the Facilities Service Desk.

What To Do If Your Card Does Not Work

If you are a University employee and your card access is not working please contact your Building/Department Access Coordinator for access. If you live in University Residences please contact you RD or RA. If you are having problems and are not sure who to call please contact the Facilities Service Desk at extension x 5444.

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Requisition Forms

Obtaining Access: Procedure and Forms

MSU Departmental Manager, Deans and Administrators are responsible for reviewing and approving access requests and changes. If you need access to a secured area, download the proper form and follow the instructions for submitting. Forms may be submitted via

Card Requisition
Access Requisition
Door Schedule Form

Any questions can be directed to the Facilities Service Desk at 973-655-5444 or

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How Cards Work

The Access Control System allows Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors, Contractors, and Vendors to enter designated doors with an access card. You may use other doors to exit the building, but you may enter designated access card areas only by using your access card. At Montclair State University we use two different types of access cards: Proximity Cards and Magnetic Stripe. See Access Card Types below for more information.

Access card-enabled entry doors are equipped with a time-delay device, which allows you to enter or leave a room or building without an alarm sounding. However, if an exterior door is held open more than 30 seconds or propped open, a local alarm is activated. Simultaneously, the University Police Department receives an alert at their headquarters.

It's important for all residents of a building to be considerate and cooperative and make sure that doors are closed, not only for the safety and security of all the residents, but so that other residents aren't disturbed by alarms that sound when doors are held or propped open. Current Access Card holders may use their cards to gain access into the following University buildings and facilities:

  • University Hall
  • Alexander Kasser Theater
  • Village at the Little Falls
  • The Children’s Center
  • Partridge Hall
  • Science Hall
  • Richardson Hall
  • College Hall
  • Dickson Hall

When buildings are locked, access is restricted to authorized cardholders. Access privileges vary by cardholder, in terms of the day of the week, time of day, and areas that can be accessed. They are updated on a regular basis, usually at the start and end of each academic semester, to accommodate building occupancy changes throughout the academic calendar.

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Access Card Types

Proximity Cardsor Prox-cards)
Proximity cards provide reliable and convenient access. Proximity technology allows fast, accurate reading while offering card read distances from 4 to 6 inches from the reader, dependant on the type of proximity reader and proximity card being used. Since these cards do not require physical contact with the reader, they are virtually maintenance and wear-free. With Proximity Cards a magnetic signal is induced and this transmits information back to the card reader to be read and authorized, as appropriate.

Magnetic Stripe (or Mag-stripe)
Magnetic stripe recording is very similar to audio and video recording. The basic differences, of course, are that the magnetic material is applied to a paper or plastic card or ticket and data is stored on the stripe instead of sound or images. Information can be recorded, read, and re-recorded many times. Most current credit cards are magnetic stripe cards

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Troubleshooting Your Card

No light on card reader Possibly no power to door lock or LED light burned out. Contact Facilities Service Desk at ext. 5444
Light doesn’t turn green when card scanned over reader Possibly defective access card Report problem to the Facilities Service Desk at ext. 5444
Green light when card passed, but door won't open Incorrect door opening technique or incorrect access to door. Try pushing the door open without turning handle. Try turning handle before pushing door open. If these suggestions do not work please contact your Department/Building Access Coordinator to review your access privileges.
Card Scanned but no reaction from door Incorrect card scanning technique or incorrect access to door  Approach reader with card slowly, not with quick, up and down movements. Card should be flat, not turned sideways. If access card is inside wallet, try removing card from wallet and scan using above technique. Also check that you do not have card placed next to another access card inside your wallet. Reader may be picking up code from another card. If these suggestions do not work please contact your Department/Building Access Coordinator to review your access privileges.
Card does not work on entrance doors that contain Panic Bars Building power outage

Try an entrance door without a panic bar.

Wait for power to building to be restored.

How do I use the handicapped accessible doors with my access card   First scan card, then push button within 10 seconds of scanning card.

The lights on an access card reader BEFORE swiping your card

  • Green - The door is already unlocked.
  • Red - The door is locked to everyone. No one without privileges is allowed to access this door.

The lights on an access card reader AFTER swiping your card

  • Green - You are authorized. The door should unlock for you to access.
  • Red - If after swiping your ID Card, you get a red light, then you are not authorized. Your access privileges may not be valid for 24 hours a day.

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User Responsibilities

Key and Access Card Issuance and User Responsibilities

  1. All employees are issued keys and access cards as needed to access buildings.
  2. The individual (faculty and staff) to whom keys or access by card are issued is personally responsible, until all items are returned to the University upon termination of employment.
  3. All key or access card requests are submitted in writing on a Key/Card Request Form. Authorized signatures of Deans, Directors, and Chairs must be on the form as required.
  4. Any employee who is being assigned a key(s) or an access card should pick them up at the Facilities Service Desk. They will be required to present proper MSU ID in order to obtain the key(s) and/or card.
  5. If a card recipient wishes to make changes to their access privileges, they must obtain the written approval and signature of the Building/Department Access Coordinator.
  6. Only one access card for a specific building or area, may be active for an individual at any time.

Key and Access Card Violations (It is bad access procedure to…)

  1. Duplicate a University key or access card.
  2. Request unauthorized duplication of a key or access card.
  3. Transfer possession of any University key or access card from an individual to an unauthorized person.
  4. Be in the unauthorized possession of a University key or access card. Keys and cards in the possession of an unauthorized person may be confiscated.
  5. Without proper permission replace, damage, tamper with or vandalize a university lock or security device.
  6. Punch holes in the access card. This will render the card inoperable.
  7. Prop doors open for an extended period of time, as this will activate a security alarm.
  8. Wash the card, as this might demagnetize the card and a new access card will have to be issued.
  9. Leave cards and keys unattended on desks, in door locks, or be handled in such a manner as to increase the susceptibility of loss or theft.

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Caring for Your Access Card

To ensure the durability of your card, please take a few simple precautions:

  1. Do not use the card in any fashion that may damage it.
  2. Do not deface or alter the card. (Ex. Cut, punch holes in, etc.)
  3. Do not place the card on stereo equipment, computers or near any magnetic fields.
  4. Do not use for any other purpose other than for access control or identification.
  5. Do not leave in direct sunlight. (Ex. On the dashboard of a car)
  6. Do not expose to extreme heat or open flame. (Ex. Clothes dryers, open flame, iron, etc.)
  7. Do not use as an ice scraper or scraping tool.
  8. Do not crimp, bend, or twist card.
  9. Do not re-laminate.

Any and all of these points may render the card useless, and you will be charged for a replacement card.

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