New identification card will unlock doors, hold money

NEW ORLEANS (April 11, 2013)-New Dillard identification cards with increased functionality are being tested by an estimated 500 students this semester, and all students and university personnel are expected to have them by fall, according to the director of auxiliary services.

Sheba Logan said the test run of the cards, which will be used for meals in Kearney, money storage for use on- and off-campus and keyless entry into dorms, started with on-campus juniors and seniors. All on-campus students were required to have their cards by mid-February for use in Kearney.

She said the new cards, which feature Rosenwald Hall with the university shield in the top left corner, will be distributed to off-campus students, faculty and staff as well as new students in August. The card will be required for campus access 15 days after the semester starts, she said.

The first priority for card use was for on-campus meals in Kearney, she said, and Yolanda Holland, general manager of Sodexo, agreed.

“Students with meal plans were a first priority because we had to keep students without meal plans out of Kearny,” said Logan.

Hollandsaid, “The new ID policy helps us keep students who didn’t pay for a meal plan out. When those students come in the dining hall, we lose money, and the school loses money because they (Dillard) have to pay us to make up for the loss.”

The money-storage system on the new card updates “Bleu Devil dollars.” Cardholders, their parents and others will be able to load money from a bank account onto an ID card via an online portal for use in the university bookstore, Kearny dining hall and the first-floor grill, and the library for copies, Logan said. At present, however, juniors and seniors are testing Blue Devil dollars only in the grill.

Eventually, money on the card may be used in future eateries in the Student Union and food establishments around the community, she added.

“If parents want to send their child money for school purposes only, they can load it on the card to make sure they aren’t spending it on anything else,” Logan said.

The Bleu Devil dollars feature will be automatic on cards for on-campus students, but off-campus students may request the feature, Logan said.

The cards also will allow keyless entry into Williams Hall, along with Camphor, Hartzell and Straight halls, which are scheduled to open in the fall, according to Logan.

Tammy Thomas, a sophomore biology major from Chicago, was excited about the new capability.

“I’m happy because this means that people that aren’t supposed to be in the dorms will stay out, and I won’t have to worry about strangers coming in the buildings,” said Thomas.

Logan said the university is bearing the $3,000 cost to switch over to the new cards. She did not provide the total cost of the new card system.

Logan warned of consequences in the fall for those who do not accept the new ID cards.

“It’s just one of those things that everyone has to do. I would hate to see someone not be let onto the campus because they didn’t accept their new ID next semester,” Logan said.