WMU News

It's never going to be easier than it is right now

April 18, 2005

KALAMAZOO--All Western Michigan University students, faculty, staff and retirees who have not already gotten a new photo-ID card are encouraged to get one during April at the temporary card-processing center in Lawson Arena.

More than 11,200 students and about 1,350 employees--including President Judith I. Bailey--were issued new cards during the first four weeks of the campus re-carding campaign.

Through May 1, only old WMU ID cards will work in campus card-swipe readers, and beginning May 2, only new cards will work. The urgency for getting a new photo-ID varies. Those members of the university community who use their existing card for building access or for services in the libraries, dining halls, recreation center and elsewhere, obviously have a more urgent need than those who rarely or never use their current card.

"Even for people who aren't using their old ID card, this is still the best time to get a new one," says Bob Coffman of WMU's Department of Public Safety, who manages the card center. "There's plenty of free parking around Lawson, and most people are in and out with their new card in less than five minutes. It's never going to be easier than it is right now."

The ID card center at Lawson is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, through the end of May. In June, the card center returns to its normal home in the Bernhard Center and will be open on a reduced summer schedule.

There are seven card-processing stations, where students, employees and retirees are photographed and write their signatures on an electronic pad. A new ID card, containing the photo and signature, is created on the spot.

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. The change, which was mandated by the state, will provide greater protection from identity theft.

Related story
A few people cannot get new ID cards yet

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

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