WMU News

Instant prizes given to students getting new IDs

March 26, 2005

KALAMAZOO--New photo-ID cards were issued to 5,604 Western Michigan University students at Lawson Arena during the first week of a two-week campaign to get new cards in the hands of as many students as possible.

Every student who gets a new card by April 1 is automatically entered in random drawings for valuable prizes, including free parking permits for 2005-06, $250 vouchers for book purchases at the WMU Bookstore and Apple iPod Shuffles. Drawings will be held and winners will be notified the week of April 4.

As an added incentive, gift certificates and other prizes are being randomly awarded on the spot to many of the students who get new cards the week of March 28. "Instant prizes" were provided by Bernhard Center businesses and the Student Recreation Center. Prizes include Bronco t-shirts, compliments of National City Bank; a free semester of SRC aerobics classes; a free SRC locker for one semester; certificates for 30-minute SRC massage sessions; and discount coupons for purchases at the Bernhard Center Counter, Little Caesars, McDonald's and Subway.

Card processing exclusively for students continues at Lawson from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, March 28-31, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 1.

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.

All parking lots around the arena are open to free student parking.

Students are being processed at seven 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.

Faculty and staff cannot get new cards during this two-week campaign, because the equipment is programmed exclusively to process student records. Beginning Monday, April 4, the photo-ID processing center at Lawson will be open to all faculty and staff. Students may also get cards during April, but will not be eligible for any of the prizes offered as incentives during the March campaign. Dates will be announced later for WMU emeriti and retirees who want to get a new ID card.

Hours for the card processing center in Lawson the week of April 4 will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Beginning April 11, the hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

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 identification.

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.

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

WMU News
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