Cards, cash or free?
It almost goes without saying that security is a top priority for every college campus, everywhere. But when it comes to ensuring the security of a campus environment, one key element to ensuring that students, employees, facilities, and even data are protected is to have a secure issuance strategy in place.
Regardless of your institution's size or cardholder population, effective secure issuance requires a reliable solution that meets both immediate needs and those of the future. In an effort to assist higher education institutions navigate this selection process, HID Global "Secure Issuance Solutions – An Executive’s Guide to Selecting the Right Provider" white paper lays out the necessary considerations for defining, evaluating and selecting the ideal secure issuance provider to meet your specific credential needs.
When it comes to issuance, universities and organizations from other verticals alike often focus on printer features, functions and up-front costs. Just as important, however, is the need to consider what their operation needs to get out of its overall secure issuance investment. In the white paper, read why it's vital to partner with a solutions provider that can deploy bleeding edge technology, offer industry expertise and provide quality support and maintenance.
Also included in the white paper is a rundown of how universities can evaluate issuance solutions from providers that meet each issuance environment's pre-defined criteria, as well as detail ways to streamline the evaluation process, enabling institutions to invest in a solution with confidence.
For more see HID Global's full, free "Secure Issuance Solutions – An Executive’s Guide to Selecting the Right Provider" white paper.
Underage drinking and fake ID use have Oxford, Ohio police calling for local bars to ask Miami students for two forms of ID to prove legal age.
According to a report from local ABC affiliate WCPO, the motion is in part the result of Miami University’s president committing to a “breakthrough” on the issue of underage binge drinking at a recent university board meeting.
Calling for a secondary form of age verification is expected to curb the use of fake IDs for entry at local bars. It's a serious problem around the Miami campus, as state agents arrested 17 people in a single Friday night at one bar alone located near the Miami campus. All 17 arrested used fake IDs to buy alcohol, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Ohio Investigative Unit.
The consequence for using a fake ID in Ohio is an underage possession charge and a summons to appear in the Butler County Area I Court for judicial hearings. The WCPO report also reveals that police seized 21 fake driver licenses and the student ID cards of the underage individuals.
Of the possible solutions proposed are changes to the Miami University student ID card. Specifically, new student IDs printed with the student's date of birth will make them an effective second form of age verification -- in addition to a state-issued credential -- at local bars.
Oxford police say fake IDs are common and are getting harder to detect. A number of the underage Miami students recently hospitalized for drinking-related illnesses earlier this month were in possession of fake IDs.
Underage drinking at Miami came to the fore recently following the hospitalization of some 21 students in a single weekend due to alcohol-related ailments. Of the 21 students hospitalized, 17 were female and all but two were underage.
Local authorities say that the number of alcohol related incidents at Miami is so significant that it has put a strain on police, fire and EMS operations to the point that the agencies have had to call for backup.
Rounding out the week's coverage is a video spotlight of the University of Colorado Boulder's campus card promotional video. Boulder's card program has put together an informative, well edited and professional video for its students to learn about the many uses of the Buff OneCard.
The video demos the contactless capabilities of the Buff OneCard, as well as lays out all the environments where the credential can be used to facilitate students' campus lives. Boulder is leveraging a true one-card concept as the Buff OneCard is facilitating the full range of student services including residence hall and room access, campus dining, library access and rental, copy/print, rec center access, laundry, event ticketing and more.
To accompany its promotional video, Boulder's card program also hosts a well designed, dedicated card program website that delves into greater detail on all the need-to-know Buff OneCard basics.
Check out CU Boulder's "What Can Your Buff OneCard Do?"
In honor of Throwback Thursday, we're turning the clock back to 2011 to a story that details the need-to-know basics of contactless smart card technology.
At the time of our "Tech 101: Contactless smart cards" piece, contactless smart cards had already been in use for more than two decades. And just as it was in 2011, the contactless card remains a key tool in the management of security, physical access and payments on college campuses today. Whether it’s used to open doors, facilitate public transit, event ticketing or facilitating the multitude of student-facing applications, contactless technology is being used to solve a number of service challenges across a variety of environments.
Despite being an industry mainstay, there are still a number of people who are fuzzy on the details of the technology and how it enables these various utilities all without ever touching a reader.
The elevator pitch is that contactless cards use radio waves of specific frequencies as carriers for communication. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Hear from representatives of Unisys and NXP about the various applications that contactless technology supports, as well as the basic contactless categories -- low frequency, high frequency and ultra-high frequency -- and the unique set of ideal applications for each.
Whether you're a contactless expert or are hearing the term for the first time, our "Tech 101: Contactless smart cards" is a great read when it comes to the contactless basics.
A mobile app, some golf carts and a renowned burrito are proving that campus food services can change with the times. Many argue that the traditional model of institutional food service -- student ID cards, board plans with declining balance, on-campus locations and limited availability – can no longer compete in the modern marketplace. But at the University of Arizona, it is not just competing it’s thriving.
Arizona Student Unions partnered with mobile ordering provider Tapingo three years ago in the fall of 2013. “We were responding to the lines,” explains Todd Millay, interim director for UA Student Unions, referring to the campus’ ever-growing food queues.
Millay oversees 30 retail outlets on the Tucson campus and serves between 25,000 and 30,000 meals per day. “Everyone still eats at the same time, so with mobile ordering, we were trying to be responsive to lines,” he says.
It’s a sensible strategy, because if you can increase throughput at the moment when lines normally become problematic, then students won’t walk away and go to your competition.
“How do we maximize the same six registers at the Chick-fil-a?” he asked. It was the kind of question that led to the mobile ordering trial.
Since that successful trial three years back, mobile ordering has expanded to 80% of the university’s retail outlets. As Millay explains, the solution is best suited to declining balance users and locations that service them. Board plan users and more traditional dining hall locations don’t benefit from mobile ordering to the same degree, as they tend to be eat-in and self-service in nature.
Enter the Highlands Market breakfast burrito, a staple of any Wildcat’s life.
“The ticker machine never stops,” says Millay, referring to the printer that pushes out Tapingo orders in the Highlands Market kitchen.
This hints to the advantage of mobile ordering. The receipt ticker tells the kitchen that someone wants to pick up a burrito soon, and while they’re not standing at the counter right that second, they will be in a specified number of minutes. These minutes are the key to reducing the lines Millay mentioned, increasing throughput and enticing customers to come back for more.
“We call it the anticipation throttle,” he says. “Getting the order to the staff 14 minutes earlier gives us time to prepare.”
It seems to be working. Across the university’s outlets, mobile ordering already accounts for 15% of all orders.
A new mobile app at Cal State Fullerton is helping students in need to find free meals on campus by sending push notifications directly to students when leftover food becomes available.
According to a university release, the app is called Titan Bites and was developed by the university's Auxiliary Services, Campus Dining Services, Student Life and Leadership, Associated Students, Inc. and Division of Information Technology. The app is part of Cal State Fullerton's ongoing efforts to address food and housing insecurity on campus following a recent university report that found some 21-24% of students across Fullerton's 23 campuses lack regular access to meals.
To sign up for the app, students simply log in to their campus portal, click on the Student Account Settings section. From there, students click an "Edit" button next to a "Join Titan Bites Free Food Program on Campus" option, and can designate whether they would like to receive push notifications via email or SMS.
The Titan Bites free food program will send notifications to users to be an "after-event guest," for when a catered event on campus is over and extra food is available. By opting-in, users will receive push notifications informing them where to go on campus for free food where it will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
"It is kind of an honor system. We want students in need of food to feel comfortable using this resource, without making them feel different," says Crystal Newman, marketing manager for Campus Dining Services. "We want students to know they can come, get food, walk out and it's not a big deal."
Four campus organizations — OC Choice Catering, Associated Students, Inc., Student Life and Leadership, and Fullerton's Gastronome campus dining facility — currently have approval to push real-time notifications through the Titan Bites app.
"Once you push the notifications, you can't get it back, so we want to make sure it's in the hands of a key group of people who know how to use it properly," says Newman. "These groups cover a wide range of activities on campus, from student events to catered events."
Fullerton has made numerous resources available for students in need of a meal. Students in need can also receive free meals at the Gastronome dining facility or other campus dining locations by contacting the univeristy's Dean of Students Office, while some meals at Gastronome have previously been donated by students and matched by food-service vendor Aramark via a meal-donation campaign held last fall. Cal State Fullerton's Campus Dining Services has also contributed $5,000 in student meals.
With the arrival of each wave of new students to campus, comes the need for institutions to evolve to meet the needs and tendencies of their new residents. And while social media resides at the heart of the college life, it can be utilized as a means to boost awareness for your campus card operation, as well.
With this in mind, CR80News has compiled a new page dedicated to the Twitter handles of campus card offices from around the country. The page can be found from the homepage by clicking the "Twitter feeds" tab in the newly redesigned navigation bar.
Of the many social media platforms available, Twitter has seemingly separated itself as the go-to channel for instant communication, and a number of card offices are taking full advantage. Check in with this dedicated page periodically to see how leading card offices are using Twitter to educate and motivate users.
The CR80News editorial team hopes this resource will encourage more card offices to leverage social media, and whether you're already active on the social platforms or not, these feeds can always be a great resource to help card offices come up with new ideas and inspiration during those inevitable creative lulls.
The card office Twitter page is ever evolving, and we encourage any office whose Twitter feed does not appear on the page currently to tweet @CR80News with the details.
While laundry isn’t typically seen as a life-saving service, it does – like any superhero – have an origin story. Campus card industry consultant, Robert Huber, has seen campus laundry evolve to reflect changing college life.
“At the onset of campus laundry, most campuses used coins, re-usable or single-use tokens, and rechargeable or throw away cards,” Huber says.
The days of coin payment are for the most part behind us – and for good reason. “At that time, institutions deployed labor-intensive change machines either in each laundry room or for security reasons in the residence hall lobby,” Huber recalls. “This meant that front desks had to keep lots of change handy – again, a security risk and a labor intensive process.”
Whether done by the university, a laundry machine contractor, or a third-party coin collector, the single greatest problem with coin-based devices is the collection process.
“Reconciliation of coins has always been laborious and requires auditing and verification that the cash retrieved matches the transactions,” explains Huber. And, of course, pilferage was a concern and vandalism of coin-laden machines was not uncommon.
Cards, cash or free?
As an alternative, many campuses opted to add a thin magnetic stripe, often called a vending or junk stripe, to their campus card to enable offline stored value payments. This allowed them to utilize the student ID card instead of requiring students to carry a dedicated laundry card, Huber says. “But this strategy necessitated the purchase and secure mounting of cash-to-card machines for the secondary stripe,” he adds.
Cash-to-card machines that required the acceptance of bills posed an increased security risk of break-ins wherever the machines were located, and carried hefty cash-handling expenses, Huber explains. These eventually were replaced by or complemented with automatic debit machines that facilitate revalue using credit or debit card.
As another alternative, campuses began incorporating laundry payments into the “flex” account program. This alleviated some of the security concerns and increased profitability, and added another valuable utility to the student flex account.
There were also growing pains in the wiring of laundry machines. “If the patch cord running between the reader and the washer wasn’t engineered properly to the individual machine, then sometimes the water would fail to shut off, causing floods in the laundry room,” says Huber. “In the mid 1980s, many washing machine brands were different and campus personnel had to custom engineer readers for each brand. Vendors soon took notice and began selling laundry controllers.”
In the years since, many campuses continued to accept both cash and electronic forms of payment. As a standard practice today, however, Huber sees little reason to maintain antiquated methods.
“I would recommend accepting only electronic forms of payment – campus card or bankcard – thus eliminating all forms of cash in residence hall laundries,” Huber explains. “This reduces the security vulnerability of not only the machines, but more importantly, the residents as well.”
For many college students, leaving the proverbial nest means leaving behind some amenities often taken for granted. One of those, provided the student isn’t within a short drive of home, is having their laundry done for them. In campus residence halls, students must muster up the motivation to do their own laundry.
From a campus perspective, laundry isn’t just one of the oldest student services but one of the earliest supported by the campus card. But as with everything else on campus, laundry services are subject to the changing tides of technology and evolving service models.
Institutions are navigating how to best price laundry services and deploy new technologies like mobile apps. They are even reevaluating the future of the campus card in laundry facilities.
Institutions have options when it comes to charging students for laundry service that include pay-per-use, pay-per-semester or even so-called complimentary service.
[pullquote]Students want a reliable, simple and convenient solution. They want to wash their clothes and pay for it in the way they're most comfortable – with the ID card, credit or debit card.[/pullquote]
“When it comes to per-use charges, I think the advantage to the student is that they only pay for what they actually use,” says Steve Swingler, director, software development, CBORD. “For the campus, the advantage is that students are less likely to tie up a washer and dryer for, say, a single towel if they have to pay for each load.
Pay-per-use is further fragmented by payment method with the seemingly archaic coin still playing a bit-part role. “Those who still accept coins are looking to get away from it, so I don’t think it has a future,” Swingler says.
Heartland OneCard director of sales, Fred Emery, sees a small and dwindling number of campuses still holding onto the cash option. “Coins may still be accepted as a form of payment, but even in those instances campuses are not providing change machines,” he says.
The shift, instead, has been to an “any card in your wallet” platform where both a student’s campus card and standard credit or debit card are accepted in laundry facilities, explains Emery.
“Insights specific to laundry aside, the themes that I hear from students regardless of the service are ‘give me options,’ ‘give me convenience,’ and ‘incorporate technology,’” Swingler says.
Jacksonville's Duval County schools are set to deploy a new student identification system across its campuses that will facilitate attendance and tardiness tracking, among other infractions when the system goes live with the start of the next school year.
According to a report by The Florida Times-Union, each school in the Duval system currently purchases its own student ID cards and are far less utilized than they will be under the new system. The current student ID cards aren’t linked with the school district’s database but the new cards and system will link student IDs with district databases that report student grades, academic progress, discipline records and other data.
The new card system will take a few familiar concepts from the one-card formula seen on many college campuses. The new IDs will be used when students board and exit buses, swiping the cards on a reader or on a bus driver’s laptop. While on the bus, students that are deemed to have misbehaved can be electronically issued a referral for discipline via the new card system.
Bus integration will also notify parents of arrival times. This represents a significant upgrade over the previous system that knew which students were supposed to be on each school bus, but not which students were actually on each bus.
Upon arrival to campus, students will scan the new ID cards to register their attendance or denote tardiness. Middle and high school campuses will leverage the ID cards at each individual classroom, as well, where students will scan their credential to gain entrance and log attendance.
Students will also use the ID cards to pay for food at the cafeteria, check out textbooks or laptops, register attendance at school activities and events, as well as denote when a student leaves a classroom mid session.
Early estimates suggest the school district could save as much as $1 million over five years by moving to the new ID card system. The initial buy in for the system will cost the district $1.1 million, with each subsequent year costing the district $123,500, or a total of $1.6 million over five years. The old ID systems cost the school district $2.6 million over five years.