Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Drexel University has published a helpful guide detailing the many benefits that the university's student ID card, the DragonCard, provides for members of the campus community. In an official university release, Drexel students are reminded of why the DragonCard is so vital to life on campus and beyond.

As with any university, Drexel encourages its students to always have their campus card handy, even have it on a lanyard, provided no holes are punched in the card. The DragonCard carries a replacement fee of $20, but the benefits the card provides are far more valuable.

In addition to academic building and dorm access, Drexel's campus card provides library access, and the ability to check out library materials, like books, course materials, laptops and chargers.

While in the library, students also use their DragonCard to print either from a personal laptop or phone or from a mobile printing station. Students pay for print jobs at the printer using their campus card.

Similarly, students can use their DragonCard to access the campus rec center, as well as to check out fitness equipment.

The DragonCard is also a cornerstone of the Drexel Dining Plan. In addition to meal swipe access, the DragonCard also stores dining dollars built into the meal plan that can be used to buy food at university-run dining locations as well as retail dining brands like Chick-fil-A and Starbuck.

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Drexel is a short distance by public transit to a number of worthwhile experiences. To navigate on campus, students can use the DragonCard to ride on the university shuttle. Drexel has also struck an agreement with the University of Pennsylvania that enables Drexel students to ride UPenn's fixed campus route free of charge.

Several Philadelphia retailers offer discounts with a valid DragonCard, including discounts at Nike, J. Crew, Kate Spade, and more.

Beyond the borders of Drexel's campus, students can use their DragonCard for a wide range of cultural experiences and enjoy discounted or free entry.

The DragonCard provides free admission to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Institute of Contemporary Art, while the Barnes Foundation is free every first Sunday and just $5 otherwise. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is pay-what-you-wish every Friday after 5 p.m. and $14 otherwise with a valid DragonCard, and the Kimmel Center offers select shows for $10 for students. The University City Cinemark movie theater, the Phillies and the Flyers all have discounted student ticket prices.

It can be easy for students to overlook the advantages that their campus cards provide, particularly for campuses nestled in large metropolitan areas where the traditional borders of campus are somewhat blurred. As is the case with Drexel, however, it's worthwhile to remind students just how much their student ID card can unlock.

Vanderbilt University has implemented a new reusable to-go container system in select on-campus dining halls. The university's new “Fill it Forward” initiative is part of a larger plan to improve sustainability on campus.

According to an official university release, the Fill it Forward program took effect August 9 and enables students to take away food from eligible dining halls in reusable to-go containers, in lieu of paper-based takeout boxes that the university had been using.

Each Vanderbilt undergraduate student was issued one free container. The containers are then returned for cleaning and sanitizing.

Using the Fill it Forward app, students can track their return, then scan a new code to rent a new container. Additional containers are be available for $5 each and can be purchased at dining hall cashier stands.

To use the container program, Vanderbilt students first register using the free Fill It Forward app. When they arrive at the dining hall, students then scan a QR code at the entrance, show the rental receipt to the dining hall cashier and receive their reusable container.

Students use a meal swipe to take the container into the dining hall and fill it with food.

When in comes time for the student to return their container, they can choose any participating dining hall, scan both the QR code on the “return poster” and the QR code on the container they are returning and drop the container in a designated bin. Student will be charged $5 for each container that they check out before returning the initial to-go container.

“Launching the Fill it Forward program is a big step forward in our drive to offer sustainable dining at Vanderbilt,” says Maria Portelli, Senior Director of Campus Dining at Vanderbilt University. “Based on surveys and feedback, our students have long advocated for environmentally friendly packaging, and we know that Vanderbilt Student Government has expressed particular interest in a reusable to-go system. We’re proud to reduce our environmental footprint and look forward to more initiatives like this in the coming years.”

As of September 7, over 1,300 Vanderbilt students had registered for the program, with some 3,000 total container rentals.

In addition to tracking container rentals, the Fill It Forward app also measures the environmental impact of each student's use of the program. According to the university, an estimated 1,840 kwH of power, 3,132 pounds of emissions, 96 pounds of waste, and 19 pounds of ocean pollution have all been saved in just the short time since the program took effect.

Tim Nyblom, Director of End User Business Development for Higher Education at HID Global, discusses upgrading legacy access control technology on campus. It’s an important industry discussion, with a considerable number of universities still leveraging mag stripe, prox and even bar codes for various applications.

Watch along as we discuss the large number of campuses still using barcodes, mag stripes, and 125 khz prox for access and other transaction system functions. We talk about the risks and weaknesses of these older technologies, as well as what the decision tree looks like for those campuses moving to more secure access technology.

We also posit why some campuses have opted not to upgrade card and access technologies, and the potential opportunity for some campuses to skip the contactless card option and go straight to mobile.

California Lutheran University is enabling its campus community to have preferred names on student ID cards. California Lutheran has enabled name changes on select documents since the 2016 fall semester, but this latest initiative now includes the campus card and student email addresses.

According to a report from Cal Lutheran's student publication, The Echo, the university's Campus Safety and the Registrar’s office have implemented the new changes to the already available name-change process, with the goal of making it more accessible and fluid.

“The preferred or first name will be either used or displayed with the legal name in the following systems: MyCLU Portal, Blackboard classes, WebAdvisor, Student Planning, Faculty Advisee List, Student Self-Service and Student Housing,” says David Hilke, Director of Campus Safety at California Lutheran.

Preferred names will also be reflected in the campus access control system, and won't hinder access to facilities on campus.

“For access control requests, Campus Safety asks that the requesting party provide the student’s name and ID number," says Hilke. "Campus Safety will then look up the student via their ID number and we will have access to their preferred name."

Students who need a card reprinted to reflect their preferred name will not be assessed a reprint fee. Standard reprints for lost or stolen cards will continue to carry a fee.

The Cal Lutheran PRIDE club was was a primary contributor to implementing the preferred name initiative.

“We were fairly early in making it, at least based on my conversations with other registrars, we were fairly early in having a policy to allow students to choose their first name,” says Maria Kohnke, associate vice president of Academic Services and Registrar.

Preferred names on campus cards comes six years after the initial option for name changes at Cal Lutheran. Part of that roll out process was down to various campus offices needing to determine if they could accept preferred names for official documents.

“The decision came down to: did that office need to use the legal name, or was that office free to use the chosen name of the student, which is what everyone wanted to do,” says Kohnke.

Winthrop University Dining Services has added robot delivery from tech startup, Kiwibot. The new food delivery solution will fulfill orders from a host of dining locations on and around the campus community.

According to an official university release, the fleet of 15 robots will operate on campus and deliver food from Simply-To-Go, Triple G's, The Crust, and bottled drinks and snacks in Markley’s. The Kiwibots will also deliver orders from two ghost kitchens operating on Winthrop's campus, Mr. Beast and Mariah’s Cookies.

The Kiwibot agreement at Winthrop is also being supported by the university's food-service provider, Sodexo. Sodexo has established a partnership with Kiwibot to provide the company's delivery solution to a growing number of college campuses across the country.

Each delivery carries a $3 delivery fee, however Kiwibot provides an optional subscription model to its campus partners to help students save on delivery fees:

“We’re looking forward to offering this new service to our community on campus,” says Helen Hoban, Dining Services general manager at Winthrop University. “No matter if you are a student living in a residence hall or faculty/staff member working late in your office, these Kiwibots will deliver to you. In addition to being a fun and convenient way to get your food delivered, they are eco-friendly and cute!”

Orders can be placed through pre-populated menus on Sodexo’s new mobile app, Everyday. Students and other Winthrop community members will be given a pickup time and a link that they can use to follow the robot’s progress in real time. The student will also receive a notification when their order has reached the designated delivery location.

In addition to standard credit/debit card payments, Winthrop students can also elect to use their campus card and Eagle Bucks declining balance funds. The university's Cafe Cash account is also accepted at select locations.

Cafe Cash is Winthrop's declining balance tender that is included with the purchase of a university meal plan. Eagle Bucks are declining balance dollars that can be purchased separately from meal plans and loaded onto Winthrop University ID Cards.

Apex Order Pickup Solutions has unveiled a new, exterior smart locker solution. The OrderHQ Exterior is designed to provide pickup in less than 10 seconds through the exterior wall of a restaurant, while employees load orders from inside.

According to a company release, the solution was designed in response to restaurants continuing to see high demand for pickup orders and struggling with locations crowded with delivery service providers and consumers both waiting for orders. The new smart locker also provides data insights that give the operator a complete digital chain of custody for every order.

“One of the trends we’re seeing now is a shift in operational investment from the back of house into that connection point where back of house meets front of house," says Mike Wills, CEO of Apex. "Automations such as the OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker help operators ensure a highly accurate, highly secure order handoff to off-premises customers and delivery drivers, so their team members can focus on providing the best experience for dine-in customers.”

Apex has seen a growing number of installs on college campuses in recent years, and the company's smart locker solutions have proven an effective pairing with Grubhub mobile ordering. Universities are leveraging the smart lockers for mobile order only locations, as well as a means to underpin ghost kitchen concepts.

The new OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker seeks to alleviate growing labor shortage concerns by streamlining the order fulfillment process and optimizing staff capacity.

With an exterior pickup option, the congestion in the front of the house can be mitigated, while consumers and delivery service drivers benefit from fast service that doesn't require physically entering the building.

In May, the “2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends, U.S. Edition” report found that some 86% of consumers are ordering takeout as much or more than they did last year. In that same report, 79% of diners reported having ordered pickup in the past month.

For dining operators, the OrderHQ Smart Food Lockers could help boost profitability due to increased throughput, optimized labor, and decreased waste. The locker’s also include the company's ApexIQ software, which provides real-time operational data to help operators fine tune the customer experience.

The OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker will be manufactured by Merco, a Welbilt brand, and is expected to be available in 2023.

In this edition of CampusIDChats, we’re continuing our discussion about the future of campus dining, this time specifically examining the role of smart lockers on campus.

Apex Order Pickup Solutions is appearing on a growing number of college campuses and the company’s smart locker solution is being used for a host of different applications, ranging from mobile ordering food and beverages, to mail and item pickup.

Watch along as Peter McNamara, Business Development Manager at Apex Order Pickup Solutions discusses the details of the company's offerings and how smart locker solutions are improving campus dining.

Then see Ashley McNamara, Vice President of Global Marketing at Apex Order Pickup Solutions, walk us through the process of how to place an order, fulfill the order on the backend, and conduct a pickup using the Apex smart locker system.

Missouri State University has launched robot delivery, bringing Starship Technologies to its Springfield campus. Starship is providing a fleet of 20 autonomous robots that will deliver food from several campus eateries.

According to an official university release, Starship Technologies rolled out its robot food delivery service this week, partnering with food-service provider Chartwells Higher Education. MSU is now the first university in Missouri where Starship delivery robots are providing service.

The robots will provide deliveries daily. The initial roster of dining locations participating in the Starship initiative include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Panda Express, Subway, and Market Café 1905.

“I think the robots will be a huge hit on campus,” says Dee Siscoe, Missouri State vice president for student affairs. “Our campus community will be able to receive food and drinks in a fun, fast and innovative new way!”

Missouri State serves more than 20,000 students, faculty and staff, all of whom can use the Starship Food Delivery app to order food and drinks from local retailers. Deliveries can be made anywhere on MSU's main campus within minutes.

The Starship delivery service will soon add support for the student meal plan so that students can pay for their meal and delivery with dining dollars.

Starship is already providing services to a number of campuses across the country, including the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, the University of Tennessee, Arizona State University, and more.

According to Starship, all partnering campuses have increased the number of robots in their fleets since going live, with some expanding dining options and hours of operation to meet the demand for robot delivery.

To get started, users open the Starship Deliveries app, choose their dining location and order, then drop a pin on a map in the app where they want the delivery to be sent. Users can then follow the robot's progress as it travels via an interactive map.

Once the robot arrives, students receive an alert to go meet and unlock the robot through the app. Delivery are typically fulfilled in minutes, depending on the items ordered and the distance the robot must travel. Each robot can carry the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.

“We’re excited to start the new school year by expanding our services to Missouri,” says Chris Neider, director, business development at Starship Technologies. “We think the students will quickly see the advantages of contactless delivery and enjoy having the robots become part of the campus community.”

Starship robots use a combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles. The computer vision-based navigation helps the robots to map their environment to the nearest inch.

The robots can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow. A team of humans can also monitor the robots' progress remotely and can take control at a moment’s notice.

Electronic or keyless access to student housing delivers a host of benefits, including increased security, enhanced student experience, and elimination of costs associated with re-keying and key handling. As more and more small and mid-sized institutions make the leap to electronic access, it has become clear that these benefits aren’t exclusively available to large institutions.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, leaders from Swarthmore College and Denison University will present their experiences in a free webinar hosted by CBORD and featuring access control solutions provider, Allegion. The free event will explore how to implement keyless access in campus residence halls with topics including selling the business justification, obtaining funds, and post-deployment results.


Panel Moderator:

“Electronic access is for all institutions, but we wanted to provide a forum focused on small to medium sized campuses,” says Jeff Koziol, Business Development Manager for Campus Software Partners, Allegion. “Often the industry focuses on the Power 5 Football Conference campuses, but schools of all sizes benefit from going keyless in residence halls.”

Panelist Anthony Condo, Director of Campus Services, Swarthmore College, says that from the inception of their OneCard program in 2016, their roadmap included the addition of card readers to student rooms. “Our campus partners and institutional leadership saw the many benefits of making this change, including a reduction in keys being issued, a more secure campus, and an enhanced student experience," he says.

Condo – along with fellow panelist Steven Simpson, Electronic Access Control System Technician, Denison University – will explore successes and challenges from their campus implementations.

When asked about the decision of going keyless or sticking with the old keys, Allegion’s Koziol is clear. “Best practice is to move these openings to electronically controlled card access or mobile access,” he says.

“When is the last time you checked into a hotel or a VRBO and were given a brass key?” Koziol asks. “In the modern world, you’re given a card at the hotel’s front desk or a pin code to get into your vacation rental. Still, we think it’s fine to hand out brass keys to students to get into their rooms.”

“Over the last few years, our industry has focused on developing technologies that take away the dependence on the ID card,” says Koziol. “I think we have almost forgotten about the fact that while a lot of our campuses are moving to mobile credentials, a lot of the students and faculty members on these campuses are still holding onto a brass key.”

When it comes to cost, the operational cost savings create a solid ROI for keyless access.

“When you lose a campus master or submaster to a building, really good practice is to go out and make sure you rekey all those openings and put in new cylinders,” says Koziol. “A couple of lost master keys could justify the cost of putting electronics on all those doors.”

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 2:00 PM EDT.

Smart lockers are finding their way onto campus in areas from libraries and res halls to science labs and dining facilities. With the advent of new service capabilities like order ahead and mobile ordering, a growing number of universities are implementing smart locker technology to bring the pick-up phase of the ordering process up to speed. HID Global’s card and credential solutions can help universities deploy smart lockers in a seamless fashion using its existing transaction environment.

Use cases for smart lockers have only grown in recent years. The technology is cementing itself as an effective and efficient way to support a wide range of business operations.

“Smart lockers are great for any sort of personal storage or exchange of goods,” says Mohit Khoda, Senior Manger Product Marketing, Extended Access Technologies, HID Global. “We’ve seen applications for library, retail, food pick up, temporary use and day-use lockers in gyms, and more.”

“Smart lockers are great for any sort of personal storage or exchange of goods. Instead of regular keys and padlocks, you’re using RFID badges, the campus card, or a mobile credential."

“Instead of regular keys and padlocks, you’re using RFID badges, and in the university space, they’re ideally using their campus card, or its virtual representation on the phone” adds Khoda.

A ‘smart’ investment

“Smart lockers are a great fit on any campus, but universities need to be able to justify their investment in the technology,” says Helmut Dansachmüller, Vice President Product Marketing and Innovation, Extended Access Technologies, HID Global. “Universities will need to ask 'where and when will I have my return on investment?'”

“It depends on the use case of the lockers, the operating cost, and installation – the total cost of ownership needs to justify the investment,” says Dansachmüller. He says smart lockers will save money in the mid to long term.

"If universities can virtualize the issuance of keys and don’t have to provide services for replacement of locks or lost keys, then the cost savings is evident."

“I believe universities are very well positioned as customers for smart lockers. They have high turnover with students leaving or joining every semester,” says Dansachmüller. “And if universities can virtualize the issuance of keys and don’t have to provide services for replacement of locks or lost keys, then the cost savings is evident.”

Supporting card technologies

Smart lockers can be a great complement in campus ID environments that are built to leverage smart credentials, explains Dansachmüller.

There are, however, some workarounds for universities that don’t have contactless cards or mobile credentials and still want to leverage smart lockers on campus. For things like food order pickup, campuses can choose to leverage anything that can be securely provisioned over the air.

“Whether a QR code, OTP (one time password), etc. -- anything that doesn’t require the student to be in front of a service desk to interact with the locker system -- will be an effective means for locker access,” says Dansachmüller. “The drawback to something like OTP is that it requires the student to have an active interaction with the locker – inputting their code. So for user experience and simplicity, we believe that RFID is the most convenient means to access the locker.”

HID’s role in the smart locker equation is the vital, backend support. The company provides locker manufacturers with the means to integrate with a university’s campus card system to make locker access as convenient as possible.

“The credential system for the door comes first,” says Dansachmüller. “We provide the locker company a seamless integration between the same credentials the university uses for access control and use them to access the lockers.”

"HID provides locker companies with a seamless integration between the same credentials the university uses for access control and use them to access smart lockers.”

“The only thing the university needs is the locker hardware, the RFID lock enabled for RFID, and an SDK integrated into the locker management software,” says Dansachmüller.

HID can directly provide the SDK and locks and then work with trusted integration partners with it comes to smart locker management.

“Each locker management provider has its own software, so we are providing the tool to integrate RFID intelligence into their systems,” says Dansachmüller. “We work with our integrators to enable them to leverage our technology.”

As for transaction technology, the full range of HID credentials – HID Prox, iCLASS, MIFARE, DESFire, Seos – are all supported. “We of course prefer Seos so that you also have the option for mobile credential use,” adds Dansachmüller.

Smart lockers in the wild

One of the best examples of HID technology underpinning a smart locker deployment on campus can be found at Wake Forest University.

Wake’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library (ZSR), serves more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The library had a system for fulfilling reference material requests, but it required significant human contact and movement. The library would deliver books and materials to faculty offices across campus, and students would come to the circulation desk, to interact with a staff member and retrieve their items.

When COVID hit, the library initially utilized a bank of day-use lockers with pin pad locks for equipment and paper bag delivery for requested materials. Library staff quickly realized those solutions wouldn’t work in the long run.

They turned to smart lockers from MetraModo, installing the locker bank in the library’s 24/7 accessible foyer.

“When COVID happened, one of the libraries thought to use smart lockers to support book and academic materials pickup in a contactless fashion,” says Khoda. “MetraModo is our hardware partner at Wake Forest, and they are using HID technology to underpin the smart locker deployment.”

The smart lockers use Wake’s contactless campus cards to create a means for students, faculty, and staff to retrieve their ordered materials on their own time.

Other highlights of the Wake Forest smart locker deployment:

Locker management. All smart lockers in one building or multiple buildings can be remotely managed from a single point of access.

Contactless experience. Access to the smart lockers is supported by a campus card or via a smart phone app, creating a touchless experience.

Reporting and data. Reporting can be granular, looking at access to all transaction data, locker utilization data, and capacity by location or by individual locker.

On-the-fly changes. Changes to the locker configuration can be made at any time.

Once the requested item is placed in a locker to be picked up, the locker system sends an email to the student or faculty member. Wake’s card system is integrated with the smart locker system, so it communicates to the locker system who is coming to pick up the materials. When the student or faculty member approaches the locker bank, they scan their card at the built-in monitor at the locker bank, and the door with their reserved items pops open.

The smart lockers have also created the possibility of a more flexible schedule as the library starts to open for broader use.

For more on smart lockers and how HID Global can provide solutions for your campus, visit

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Feb. 1 webinar explores how mobile ordering enhanced campus life, increased sales at UVA and Central Washington @Grubhub @CBORD

Join Jeff Koziol and Robert Gaulden from @AllegionUS as we explore how mobile credentials and proptech are changing on- and off-campus housing.

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