By Derby Chukwudi
On December 15th, a correspondence from the Public Safety Department announced an unprecedented change to students’ ID card replacement to BC community, “All Berea College IDs will be processed through Public Safety. That includes all new students and staff as well as any replacements. With this transition we will no longer be charging students the $15 fee for the replacement ID card; you must pay on site. The Public Safety office accepts all major credit cards, cash and checks.”
The new policy ushers in various reactions from students. While some students are still unaware of this policy, many are left with doubts, as they began questioning the reason for this change. One of the major themes of the ID card policy discussion by students, has been the impact this policy will have on student’s finances.
Martin Kameya ’18 said, “The new policy has good and bad effects. Although it is ridiculous that the ID replacement cost is $15, paid on site; it is also a form of incentive to reduce the number of missing ID cards on campus.”
Rebecca Dixon ’19 said, “The price change is the major concern not just for me but for other students who will find themselves in situations where they have to replace their ID cards. Sometimes, we don’t have extra money for these sort of changes and this may create more pressure on us. Right now, losing my ID card is the last thing I want, but emergencies happen.”
Fatim Keita ’18 said, “I was not aware of the impact of the policy change even though I received the email sent to the students. I guess I did not realize the impact until I heard about my friends complain about the price.”
So why would Berea College decide to add such an additional stressor to students?
Lavoyed Hudgins, the Director of the Public Safety Department, “For many years, access control across the campus, which includes keys and cards, has been divided among Facilities Management, IS&S, Student Services, Student Life and Public Safety. This led to duplication of efforts and inconsistencies in service while compromising security. The Public Safety offices seemed to be a naturally good location since we are open 24/7.
“In the past, if a student lost an ID after normal business hours on a Friday, it could be Monday before another could be issued. Additionally, housing keys and access control under one office instead of several helps to speed service when cards are issued or replaced” said Hudgins.
“The College Administration, in an effort to improve security access across campus, has invested in more advanced technology access control. Our old system of control was limited and reaching the end of its serviceability. While there are still some mag stripe readers across campus, most of the new technology is proximity chip based. This necessitated newer cards which have the capability to be swiped and used as proximity access. These cards are more costly than the old cards and more expensive to print and replace,” Hudgins added.