Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

A federal court is expected to rule this week on a mandate by the Northside Independent School District San Antonio, Texas requiring students to wear RFID-equipped name badges that enable school administrators to track a student’s whereabouts while on campus.

But 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez is objecting to the mandate for religious reasons, calling the requirement a “mark of the beast” as mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Revelation The case focuses only on her situation and not on the RFID program itself, attorneys said.

The school district has offered to transfer her to another school that doesn’t require the name badges but she wants to stay at John Jay High School, one of two in the district that’s testing the new name badges.

The main reason the district wants to utilize the tracking system is to maximize state funding, which is partly based on daily attendance, Northside Superintendent Brian Woods testified. It enables a more accurate count of which students are at school and could help locate individuals quickly in case of emergencies, he said.

The judge is expected to issue a ruling this week.

Read more here.

Campus card services provider CardSmith is launching a mobile version of its online Cardholder Account Center.

Students, parents and other authorized users can use their smart phone to check balances, view transactions and revalue their meal plan or Campus Cash accounts through a scaled down mobile-friendly version. The smart phone interface also enables users to switch to the full Web site if desired.

CardSmith tested the mobile account solution with a number of clients throughout the fall 2012 semester.

Usage and adoption have been high and performance has been good, CardSmith said. All current and prospective CardSmith clients can now add mobility to their cardholder account center for their programs without incremental charges or fees.

Enhancements for 2013 are already in the works and include digital offers/rewards and the ability to pay by phone.

Students at University of Detroit Mercy have mixed reactions about the school’s new rule requiring students, faculty and staff to wear their ID badges while on campus.

The reason for the rule is simple. The ID policy is part of a broader security system, said Tamara Batcheller, associate vice president for facilities management. “I don’t think any one thing is going to get us the perfect security system and I don’t think there is such a thing as perfect security.”

Still, she says “campus security will be significantly increased” by the ID requirement.

There was no specific reason for the new rule but Batcheller said that thefts on the university campus indicated there was a need for greater security.

The IDs can easily pinpoint those who shouldn’t be on campus, someone who Batcheller said wouldn’t be on campus for any legitimate reason.

“I think sometimes people have a false sense of reality of how they (outsiders) get on campus,” she said. “The legitimate people usually drive or walk on to campus, but those who come on campus for other reasons try to find ways to get on campus without having to go past somebody.”

Read more here.

San Marcos, Tex. authorities have busted a fake driver license scheme that provided licenses to some Texas State University students.

The 20-year-old sophomore engineering student, Jake Waldrep, has been charged with 14 counts of delivery or manufacture of a counterfeit instrument.

The investigation first gained steam a month ago when a doorman at one of the bars near campus noticed one individual attempting to use a fake driver license.

Numerous other individuals whom police believe Waldrep had supplied the fake licenses to, were later identified.

Read more here.

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who are utilizing their unlimited bus ride passes will, starting next week, have to produce their student ID card as well.

The bus rides are paid for by the university’s student fees account and if a non-student is using the pass, he is costing the school money. Drivers will begin requesting student IDs next Monday. If students can’t produce an ID, their bus pass will be confiscated.

Bus drivers will also be confiscating passes that have been deactivated. That could happen if a student was found advertising the pass for sale on one of the online sites, such as Craigslist.

One university official said bus passes are extremely valuable, going for as much as $300. “Students who are selling them above what they pay out of their [student] fees for them are making a profit off of other students’ fees. That’s absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

Read more here.

Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, one of China’s oldest universities, has installed a computing solution based on IBM PureSystems. The school intends to use it to help improve education services offered to students and to launch the university’s Digital Campus platform and student Campus Card.

The new system will provide the backbone for the secure use of the university’s campus card which will be used as an electronic purse by students to pay for expenses on campus, borrow books at the library and enroll for different activities.

“To stay ahead of the ever changing demands of today’s students, who require constant access to the university’s virtual campus, we decided to launch the Digital Campus platform and provide a Campus Card especially tailored to the needs of our student communities,” said Li Longji, director of the school’s Network Center.

The computing IT system provided by IBM helps the university provide cloud-based applications needed to support the Digital Campus services such as authentication, wireless management and connectivity to both the Internet and to the university’s campus network, which will provide students with online access to administration, learning and collaboration processes.

In an effort to offer more protection for its students, the University of Southern California is installing fingerprint scanners at the entrance of all on-campus residence facilities.

Students have until the end of this week to get their fingerprints scanned and a photo taken. Starting next Monday, a student will have to scan his finger and offer up his ID card before entering the dorm.

In addition, guests will have to leave an ID card with building officials in order to obtain a temporary pass.

Some students didn’t think the new system will work. “I don’t understand how it will be any more effective than the current security procedures,” said one student. “A resident can still hold the door for friends and others who do not live in the dormitory, defeating the purpose of the fingerprint scanner.”

Installation of the fingerprint scanners comes a few days after an on-campus shooting on Halloween that left four people injured. None of them were USC students.

Read more here.

School Savings ID, created by a student attending Chapman University, Orange, Calif., could provide students with up to a 20% discount at participating local businesses.

Business major Jason Cunningham started the service early this year to help connect local businesses with the university community. “It’s a win-win for both the businesses who participate…and the students,” he said. “Businesses enlarge their customer base and students can purchase goods and services locally on a student budget.”

It costs businesses $40 to participate. For that, they’re listed on the School ID Savings Web site and promoted through social media, campus flyers and word of mouth.

So far, 20 businesses, from taxi services and dry cleaners to yoga studios and restaurants, have signed up, offering discounts from 10% to 20%.

All students and faculty have to do to claim their discount is present their student ID.

Read more here.

Members of the Associated Students of Santa Monica College in California can get free bus rides, discounts on selected movie and theme park tickets and free admission to college athletic events for an advertised fee of $19.50. What isn’t mentioned though is an additional $13 “student ID card fee” that the students also have to pay.

The $19.50 fee is used by Associated Students to fund campus clubs through the Inter Club Council and other programs aimed at promoting student life activities. The extra $13 fee is needed to activate the mag-stripe on the card in order to gain access to campus resources.

According to Jesse Ramirez, Associated Students publicity director, information from the Auxiliary Services department provided a breakdown of the $13 fee: “$3 goes to the ID card, $5 goes into technology, and $5 goes into transportation,” he said.

While both fees are optional, students can’t pay for one without having to pay for the other. “A student cannot opt out of ID card fees if they want to keep Associated Students benefits,” said a college administrator.

Ramirez is concerned that signs that advertise the $19.50 membership fee are misleading students because they omit the additional $13 fee.

Read more here.

ITC Systems, Toronto, has developed a cashless system for staff and students at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, N.H. The company modified the school’s existing systems to enable parents to add value to student accounts online. At the same time, staff in the food services financial management area have access to more sophisticated tracking information.

Bishop Guertin, a private Catholic high school serving 855 students in grades 9-12, had offered cashless food service and vending for many years before switching to ITC’s one card program in 2009. Students’ cards have a contact chip rather than a magnetic stripe and the school has now invested in ITC’s Multi-Plan and Web Purchase programs.

“One of the big advantages of our original work with Bishop Guertin was that the school was able to eliminate automatic debit machines,” said ITC CEO Campbell. Richardson. “They were expensive and often unreliable.”

The school currently operates four registers and five vending machines. ITC’s MultiPlan program can also be used to track sales by grade. This data can then be used to plan special offers to students that can increase participation.

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