Kent residence halls look to win $200,000 grant for security enhancements


Courtesy of TV2

Julianne Calapa

Kent State is a contender to win a $200,000 grant for safety and security technology upgrades to be used in the residence halls.

Together for Safer Schools Grant Program, a nationwide vote-based contest for colleges, is run by Stanley Security Solutions Inc., a global company that supplies security systems, technology and services to various institutions.

“We are providing the funding for services or solutions,” said Kyle Gordon, Stanley’s North American director of higher education market solutions.

The grant could be spent on video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection or even preventative maintenance measures for existing equipment, Gordon said.

Kent State Finalist in Security Contest from on Vimeo.


Kent State Residence Services encourages students to vote in order to improve the locks in residence halls.

“When we went to electronic locks in the early 2000s, we were early adopters,” said Dennis Gregory, assistant director of assignments and access control for Residence Services. “Now those locks are up to 14 or 15 years old. So if we win, we are looking to buy new electronic locks.”

Residence Services operates on auxiliary, which means any money spent on security enhancements comes from housing fees alone, Gregory said.

Each electronic door lock Stanley makes has a retail price of about $800. There are approximately 7,000 doors in the residence halls with some sort of Stanley product or lock installed, Gregory said.

“I feel safe in my dorm,” said Kendall Becker, a freshman fashion merchandising major. “We have to swipe our FLASHcard to get in, so I feel like everyone who gets in the building is supposed to be there.”

Students who live in residence halls face security measures on a daily basis. Dorm lobbies can only be accessed with a key card in most residence halls.

“I’ve never had a reason not to feel safe,” said Isabel Kiefer, a sophomore exploratory major.

Though there have been no issues with the electronic locks in the residence halls, Residence Services does not want to wait until there are issues to upgrade them.

“Overall, we don’t have that many issues with the locks,” Gregory said. “But we’d like to replace them before there are any problems.”

Contest voting opened on Jan. 19 and runs through Feb. 13. Winners will be announced on March 3, said Brittany Dupree, marketing manager for Stanley.

“We’ve had a pretty substantial response this year,” Gordon said. “Right now, we are in the middle of a pretty competitive voting race.”

There are three different tiers in the contest based on the number of students enrolled at each college. With more than 20,000 students, Kent State is in the third tier. First place in the third tier receives $200,000 and second place receives $75,000. A grand total of $600,000 will be distributed among first and second place colleges that receive the most votes in each tier.

“Our campus is pretty secure, but every little bit helps,” Gregory said.

As of Sunday, Feb. 1 Kent State stands at fifth place. To vote, visit, text kentedu to 334455 or tweet using both #kentedu and #STANLEYsecurity. Voting is limited to once a day.

Contact Julianne Calapa at [email protected].