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Duke to ramp up ID card verification at rec fields

Duke University is set to more strictly enforce student ID card verification at its outdoor athletic fields. The decision comes after recent incidents of club-affiliated activities and reserved practices being interrupted by non-university members using the fields.

As reported by The Duke Chronicle, the ID card policy at the outdoor fields will now mirror the requirements for entry to other campus rec facilities and require everyone to present their DukeCard. The main difference between the fields in question and the rest of the campus rec facilities is that the athletic fields are managed by Housing and Residence Life, not Duke Recreation and Physical Education.

The issue driving the DukeCard verification is that the fields are used by students and Raleigh locals alike for pickup soccer and other non-university activities. This often leads to conflicts with university sanctioned clubs who have reserved the fields for practice.

The most recent incident involved the university’s club cricket team, whose reserved practice time was interrupted by a pickup soccer game already in progress. There’s no clear policy dictating how the facility is to be shared with the surrounding community, but outlining specific rules for use will likely be a starting point.

“If Duke really wanted to share its space, the best thing to do would be to have a very clear policy of how that sharing will work: between what hours, who will ensure the safety and all that policy,” said Arya Roy, faculty adviser for the Duke University Cricket Club. “The problem is that there was no policy that was being imposed.”

The enforcement of student ID cards in the past has been described by some as being a lax system with an “ebb and flow” that was rarely, if ever strictly enforced.

As with many outdoor facilities, strict ID verification can be difficult to enforce, but it is seen as the fairest option for managing the use of the university’s outdoor courts and fields. Checking DukeCards also removes the troublesome task of visually discerning those who look like a Duke students from those who do not.

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