What’s new at MRU?
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
With another semester and academic year beginning, there’s a lot to remember and a lot of new changes for both new and returning students. There are a few noteworthy changes that students should be aware of, such as MRU new security system and the university’s new OneCard student identification number.
Here’s what you need to know about these new changes in the fall:
MRU’s new AI security system
MRU’s network of security cameras were nearing the 20-year mark and need some upgrades, MRU said in a press release. The outdated technology is being replaced with high-resolution cameras integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The university said the new system will “make it easier to see issues in real time.”
“Study after study shows that a single operator can basically only look at two cameras,” Peter Davison, director of Security Services said in the MRU release. “Now, the dispatcher sitting at the console is no longer looking at 300 images at a time. This has allowed them to concentrate on just the certain things that pop up.”
MRU claims to be the first in Canada to adopt this new security system.
“The system learns and recognizes normal activity as movement patterns across campus. [It] learns and recognizes shapes, sizes and movement — not people or specific objects — and it can’t differentiate between people. If an active assailant walked down Main Street with a weapon, for example, the system would immediately notice the sudden, hurried movement of all the people (as pixels) around that person because that wouldn’t be normal,” MRU said.
According to security services, the system caught someone doing donuts in a parking lot and a group of people “play-fighting” on the third floor on its first day of being installed.
MRU introduces new ID cards
MRU is replacing current Student Identification Cards with OneCard.
Starting on Aug. 27, students can pick up their OneCard from a temporary location at G100 near the East Gate and along Main Street, MRU said in an email sent to students. The location will be open until Sept. 13 and will operate from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The new OneCard will be students’ MRU official identification along will be used for access to controlled and locked areas, used as students’ library cards and a way for students to access printing services.
OneCard will also be used as students’ access to MRU’s recreation centre, computer and science labs and office spaces. The U-Pass for Calgary Transit will also be a part of the new cards.
A new feature from the old campus cards is that you will be able to “load Flex Dollars onto your OneCard to pay for merchandise and food at many campus vendors,” MRU said.
Eventually people on campus will be able to use their OneCard for vending machines, parking and more.
MRU advises that OneCard is “your most important piece of identification” on campus and encourages students to carry it with them whenever they are on campus.
For questions about the new OneCards, you can visit The OneCard office in the Campus Store (H100).