One Card unifies meal plan, hall access and Bender library use
AU is going high-tech. Beginning this semester, the university is implementing a new, state-of-the-art ID card system. The "One Card" is designed to be used for a variety of services on campus and has reduced the cost and hassle of student ID cards, according to Tom Taylor, manager of security systems.
Taylor said the change from the old cards to the new ones was prompted by the high cost and inefficiency of the old card system. The new system is completely computer-generated and reduces the cost of production by over 50 percent, Taylor said.
The computer system - one of the newest on the marketÃ¿- will maintain a complete record of student security information 24 hours a day, which makes lost cards easy and quick to replace.
In addition, the new card is made of a stronger plastic that will last much longer and make tampering more difficult, Taylor said.
One of the main features of the new card is a magnetic strip containing meal plan information and security clearance to residence halls, as well as Americard. The front of the new card has a computer-generated bar code used to check books in and out of the library. In the near future, the card will also be used for photocopying in the library.
The One Card is the beginning of a five-year plan developed by the Department of Public Safety. In the past, ID cards were handled by the Registrar's office, but Public Safety has undertaken the assignment of issuing new cards to approximately 13,000 students and faculty members. According to Taylor, about 5,000 students have obtained the new card so far. Public Safety will be processing new cards through October to make the process as smooth and quick as possible.
In the future, Taylor said he would like to see card readers installed on all the academic buildings on campus. After regular class hours, the doors could be locked remotely by computer and students could gain access only with their ID cards.
In addition, the Department of Auxiliary Services is again proposing to the Residence Hall Association that the debit card feature of Americard be used on the washers and dryers in the residence halls. Margie Bryant, Director of Auxiliary Services, said she supports the idea and believes it would reduce operational costs and vandalism.
Bryant said her department would also like to install "Value Adding Centers" similar to ATM machines around campus, to allow students to independently add monetary amounts to their accounts at any time.
Bryant said many of the on-campus stores and services have showed an interest in accepting the One Card.