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Oregon students petition to print resource numbers on back of IDs

Student ID cards vary in their design, with university crests, colors and photos all adorning the fronts these important credentials. The reverse side of the card, however is easy to overlook, as many institutions pre-print generic data that the student rarely notices.

Students at the University of Oregon are calling for its card office to use the back of their IDs to print valuable contact information that can aid students in a time of need. According to the Daily Emerald, the group spearheading the initiative is the University of Oregon’s Active Minds, a student group focused on increasing student awareness of mental health. The group provides information and resources that encourage Oregon students to seek help as soon they need it.

The group’s petition is calling for the Oregon card office to print campus resource numbers on the back of each student ID card in the hopes that students in need will have faster access to the help they need. The group is surveying Oregon students to see which services they deem most beneficial to have printed on their IDs.

Results of the survey have thus far seen students show interest in having the numbers for the university police department, health center, the after hours counseling and crisis hotline and Safe Ride to be listed on their IDs.

Active Minds hopes to have its campaign approved by Oregon’s card office and have the numbers printed on the back of IDs starting fall 2014. The group is wisely asking that only newly issued credentials feature the numbers – roughly 3,800 IDs to be issued for the fall semester – rather than suggesting a reprint of all 25,000 Oregon student cards.

The thought is that by printing the resource numbers on IDs, these services will be more accessible for students, who rarely have these numbers memorized. Moreover, a quick internet search for a number may be out of the question if there is no cell service or a phone battery is dead – as can be the case later in the evening or when trouble arises.

Oregon’s card office has responded to the motion by suggesting the student service numbers be printed on a sleeve to be issued with each card. As one can imagine, however, the likelihood of losing a card sleeve, as opposed to the ID itself is rather high.

From the card office perspective, going back to reprint these phone numbers may not be an option, if the card office has a fresh inventory of pre-printed stock. For a campus that is at the end of its card stock supply or prints card backs in house, however, it could be easy enough to add the new data.

The benefits must outweigh the costs, but the members of Active Minds feel that crucial student service phone numbers are more useful than the static text that typically adorns the backs of IDs.

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