Last updated: January 11, 2018

Members of the Science Center community can now request ANY key or card access via this form. For student requests, please include their Smith ID number. If other steps are needed, you will get help and instructions via email.

Please see also the page describing Science Center building hours.

The policy and process described on this page seeks to respond to four interrelated requirements:

  • Support of the academic mission
  • Technical feasibility
  • Compliance with college policy, state and federal regulation
  • Manageable within the context of current staffing resources


Application Process

Access requests for Division 3 staff, faculty, casual employees, work study students, and Research Students should be submitted via this form. Only faculty and staff may request key or access privileges granted to another party. Typically, key or card access is granted by a supervisor, Department Chair, Program Director, or the faculty member responsible for the particular space.

The OneCard office manages card privileges for the general Smith student, faculty, and staff population, as well as access to regular or scheduled curricular and college events for faculty and Five-College students. The OneCard office also grants access privileges for Facilities Management, ITS/ETS, and other college departments.

Responsibility of Key or Card Holder

Keys and cards are issued individually. Faculty and staff cannot request multiple keys and hand them out to others. Only one key of each type will be distributed to those that need them. If a key or card is lost, you are asked to submit a notification via the access request form immediately. Science Center Administration will take action if card privileges should be withdrawn or if locks should be changed.

Certification of Request

Anybody requesting key or card access for another person via the access request form, is certifying the following:

“I confirm that I am responsible for the space(s) included in the request and take responsibility for access of the individual(s) mentioned. I authorize that the access recipient(s) may gain access to the space when I am not present. I certify that I have trained access recipients in the work to be performed (if any), the particular hazards associated with the lab or room, have given them any written emergency protocols specific to working in the space and trained the person on what to do in case of an emergency.”

A reminder is inserted in the request acknowledgement.

Student Access to Wet Labs and Similar Restricted Spaces

All wet labs or spaces that contain hazardous materials or equipment are defined as “Restricted Spaces”. Students can only work in such Restricted Spaces upon completion of Lab Safety Training conducted by the Science Center Health & Safety Officer. Students that do not complete safety training when required, will have their card access privileges revoked. Lab Safety Training is not necessary if key/card access is granted to external doors only, office spaces, and computer rooms.

* Click here to see examples of restricted spaces in the Science Center

Other Restrictions on Internal Doors
If faculty members or departments wish to institute access restrictions to specific rooms, they have to make a note of this on the door, let the Director’s Office know, and communicate this to their colleagues. Such restrictions will be published online by the Director’s Office.

We rely on faculty to comply with such access restrictions and to inform their students. If e.g. a faculty member is requesting access to Tissue Culture Suite for their seven lab students, they either (1) don’t submit request until students have been trained, (2) ask approving staff/faculty member to submit request on their behalf, or (3) take responsibility for the students accessing the facility only after having been properly trained.

Refundable Deposits

Key deposit internal doors – $25
Card deposit (Visitors Card) – $25

Once inside a building, user may stay working in the building as long as they comply with the ‘buddy policy’ (not working alone) outlined on page 23 in the Science Center Safety Plan.

OneCard holders with 24/7 building access to Sabin Reed/Burton also have card access through the corridor door to the loading dock allowing access to dry ice storage.

Unlocking Internal Doors (“double-swiping”)
It is possible to unlock an internal card swipe door and leave it in unlocked state just like when opening with a key. This can be done by double-swiping the card door (while door closed, swipe, pause 2 seconds, swipe again, then open door). This process can be repeated in reverse to re-lock the door at any time. The following conditions apply:

  • Double-swiping is available during open hours and extended hours, i.e. M-F 7am to 11pm and weekends 8am to 10pm.
  • The feature is only available to faculty and staff who already have permissions to that door. Student cards do not have this ability.
  • If left unlocked, all manually unlocked (double-swiped) doors will automatically lock again at end of extended hours (11pm weekdays, 10pm on weekends).


Visitors and 5-College Students

Smith faculty assigned to teach a class in a card access building, will be instructed by Registrar to direct any Five College students in their class to the OneCard office, if they need building access after hours. The OneCard office will distribute a Visitor’s Card, based on confirmation in registrar records. Five College students will need to wait a couple of days after finalizing their registration for a Smith course to be able to pick up their card. This is especially important to note for students who have registered during the add/drop period at the begining of the semester as they will not be able to get the card immediately after registering.

Faculty who want to request access for high school students who are enrolled in their classes at Smith should contact Susan Zachary in the Class Dean’s office in College Hall 203 to discuss their specific needs. Cards will not be automatically issued.

All other Science Center visitors or Five-College Research Students need to apply for a Visitors Card via the access request form.

A refundable deposit is required for all Visitor’s Cards. Visitors Card privileges will have an expiration date.

Duration of Access Privileges

All staff/faculty card privileges are active indefinitely, i.e. until manually revoked.
All Research Student card access privileges (beyond standard for Smith population) are active until the end of current academic year (closing date of houses), or until manually revoked.

Any faculty member, who wishes to extend privileges for another year for certain Research Students, is required to submit a renewal request via the access request form indicating the names of these students before the expiration date.

Card Access Alarms

The following events on card access doors causes an alarm going off at Public Safety:

  • Door propped open (unless it has been unlocked first using the double-swipe method)
  • Card access door opened with a key. Keys are intended for emergency override only.