Access to campus services widens with new smart ID cards

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Staff Writer

Changes to student ID smart cards now assist students in doing more than just remembering their ID number.
Student ID cards have been doubling as smart cards for the past two years, according to Dorothea Solymosi, manager of Operations and Database Support.

In The Grille and at the café in the Education and Arts Building, smart cards allow students to purchase food. Enabling this feature on a card will also deduct 10 percent from purchases at the eatery registers, Solymosi said.
“If any student or staff member puts money on it, it’s like the old dining card,” Solymosi said. “The money can be used just for dining services.”

At the Franklin D. Schurz Library, smart cards act as a library card, allowing students to check out library books, media, games and soon wireless phone-charging disks.

Smart cards also give students printing access; help their student advisors keep track of their account; allow students entrance and rentals in the Student Activities Center; and give students entrance to many other doors.
If the door has the new lock on it and the student has authorization for that door, then the card can be used as a key to unlock it.

Students may also check in with their cards at different locations. At the Gateway in the Administration Building, the staff will use cards to check students in to where they want to go and to put students on the waiting list if there is one, Solymosi said.
In the Writing Resource Center, when a student checks in using their ID, the center can send a teacher an email confirmation that the student visited there.

“Any program here on campus who wants to take advantage of that, for using it to record when a student is there, can email the support center,” said Michael Fletcher, director of Microcomputer and Hardware Support Services.
Although not all IUSB organizations can utilize this feature, the support center can run a plausibility analysis. For these services, one can email

In the community, different places will give discounts for showing a current student ID, like Cinemark Movies 14 in Mishawaka.
“China House will give you 10 percent [off purchases with a current ID card],” Fletcher said. “So will Allie’s Café.”

Although the IUSB card is unique and cannot be used on other campuses, the plan is to eventually have the statewide university network using one format of the card, said Paul Sharpe, executive director at the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.

Solymosi said most students currently have the new smart cards and those who do not can get their old cards replaced for free.

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