WMU News

Nearly 5,000 new student IDs issued in three days

March 25, 2005

KALAMAZOO--New photo-ID cards were issued to 4,963 Western Michigan University students at Lawson Arena through Thursday--the first three days of a two-week campaign to get new cards in the hands of as many students as possible.

Everything has been running smoothly, according to Bob Coffman of WMU's Department of Public Safety, who is directing the card processing. "Most students are in and out with their new card in 10 minutes or less," says Coffman.

Free student parking in all lots around the arena is more than ample.

Students are being processed at six stations, where they are photographed and write their signatures on an electronic pad. A new ID card, containing the photo and signature, is created on the spot by one of five card-printing machines.

Students are asked to bring their existing ID to the processing center in Lawson. The existing card can be swiped in a card-reader, which speeds the processing. According to Coffman, students who don't bring their existing ID can still get a new card; it just takes a little longer.

New cards are part of the university's switch from Social Security numbers to Western Identification Numbers--or WIN--as the primary way of identifying students and employees.

Every student who gets a new card by April 1 is automatically entered in a drawing for prizes, including free parking permits for 2005-06, $250 vouchers for book purchases at the WMU Bookstore and Apple iPod Shuffles, among others.

Students can get new ID cards at Lawson Arena from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, March 28-31, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, March 25, and Friday, April 1.

Faculty and staff cannot get new cards during this two-week campaign, because the equipment is programmed exclusively to process student records. Separate dates in April will be announced later in WMU News and WMU Today for faculty and staff to get new ID cards.

Everyone should keep their old cards until May 2, says Coffman, for use in campus card-swipe readers. New cards won't work in the readers until May 2. After that date, only the new cards will work. Except for card-swipe readers, the new ID cards will be accepted immediately by all university offices as valid indentification.

After May 2, old cards will be invalid and should be destroyed, because the magnetic stripes on the backs of the cards contain personal information, including Social Security numbers.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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