Security Review: IMA

By patriw at 12:09 pm on March 20, 2008 | 3 Comments

The IMA is a rather public place where students, faculty, and spouses can take fitness classes, lift weights, or use an expansive cardio room.

The assests include fitness machines, sports equipement, and simply the space, which when occupied by a unwelcome visitor, makes it unusable to a valid ima-goer. In addition, there is wifi access, as well as internet ready terminals.Adversaries might include, anyone who wants to take the equipement. Rival school members who want to somehow hinder our sports teams preperations, or even your average joe who wants to work out. We must not let random people get healthy! In addition, the IMA is one of very few places in seattle where regular pick up games of basketball can be found, and we must ensure that the general public doesn’t overwhelm the 10 courts that are provided. Luckly, the security has been sufficient to ensure that only 2 of these courts are ever in use at any given time.

The security that is currently in place includes students who guard a gated entrance. They swipe your card, which says whether your card was issued to someone who should have access to the ima, then the student may or may not due some visual authentication, comparing your face to the face on the card. However, as the gates are waist high, it probably wouldn’t be that hard to simply jump it. However, there are easier ways in. One must only know a valid name-student number combo to receive a one time pass into the IMA. While the form asks for more information, these are all that are ever required. In addition, at the same desk that handles the one time forms, one can also sign a guest in for a one time pass for seven dollars. Steep yes, but if you are looking to untracably enter the premise, asking a random person entering the building to let you be their guest isn’t a bad way to go. Then comes the best way in…locker room pins. One must only have a baby pin with a piece of paper taped on with a locker number to be instantly granted access, no questions asked. These are impossible to authenticate (or at least prohibitively difficult), and can be easily created without leaving your home for supplies. Bingo!

In conclusion, the IMA is wide open for access to anyone who really wants it. However, given that it is run by students who are almost always studying while working, it seems like the state has spoken about its commitment to IMA security. Access points such as the locker room pins exist because they are a convenience to the users, and very little harm can come from having unauthorized persons in the building. There is security on the premise that could respond, should someone try to run away with a collection of weights. Which raises the question, given that it is a state run facility, and it already charges for parking, a virtual must for people not conveniently coming from the UW, why charge at all? The general public could certainly use an additional fitness center…

Filed under: Miscellaneous3 Comments »


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    Comment by Abdullah

    March 21, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

    The IMA sounds like a fun place to be to get a power workout.

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    Comment by Chris

    March 25, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

    I have seen people get into the IMA by going through the exit gates: they wait nearby until a large group of people are coming out, then just walk through the open gate. Works better when the ID checker is distracted with several patrons, obviously. If the staff at the front doesn’t get a good look at you, you can disappear pretty quickly.

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    Comment by Emily

    March 26, 2008 @ 5:04 am

    “Rival school members who want to somehow hinder our sports teams preperations…”
    Intercollegiate athletes train in their own building, not in the IMA. Whatever has caused the football team to loose all those games, it wasn’t IMA crashers.

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