MSU Denver’s student identification cards may be getting smarter. According to Emilia Paul, Associate Vice-President of Student Wellness and Engagement, it’s about time.
“We’re way behind the times,” Paul said. “This [smart card] has been on the table for 12 years. The technology has been out there for 20 years.”
Plans for a proximity ID card — dubbed the “Rowdy Card” — fit in with the timing of MSU Denver’s name change and with the university’s new branding standards. That, combined with RTD’s changing bus fare system, the smart card system, an ID card with an information-filled microchip, seems like it should be a done deal.
So what’s the hold-up?
MSU Denver’s buildings and property are owned and maintained by the Auraria Higher Education Commission, which also owns and operates both CCD’s and UCD’s facilities. MSU Denver cannot change or adapt the locks or security measures without first receiving approval from AHEC.
CCD already uses a smart card, and UCD is in the process of transitioning to smart-card technology. MSU Denver appears to be next in line. According to Paul, a few offices, including the Office of Student Wellness and Engagement, have already had their locks changed for proximity cards. AHEC could not be reached for comment.
“[The process] been a great deal of frustration,” Paul said.
In January, RTD will stop accepting student cards with stickers as fare for bus rides because they will be transitioning to a proximity card fare. The university administrators would like to see RTD’s information added to the chip in the Rowdy Card so students won’t have to carry both a bus card and a student ID. Paul said that the goal is to have everything ready in October when orientations for spring students begin. The new cards will cost $15, and current students will be able to replace their student IDs with Rowdy Cards.
Incoming student Sadie Connell said that she hopes that RTD will collaborate with MSU Denver.
“It would be nice if the new card could be made to use on the Light Rail,” she said.
Along with the new card would come a policy that students would always need to carry their Rowdy Card with them while on campus. Not only will it get them into events and the recreation facilities, it will identify them as current students on an open campus that sees visitors not associated with any of the three schools at Auraria.
Student Chris McAdams said that the new Rowdy Card will be “nice if it works.” He hopes that it can be used to make the campus safer.
“If it makes the campus more secure, I wouldn’t be against the random checking of IDs,” McAdams said.