A lot of pain for a little plastic

Courtesy of Rory Brouillard | Brouillard has lost her ID seven times costing her an estimated $175.

Rory Brouillard | Staff Writer

There is almost nothing worse than getting to the door of your dorm hall and realizing you don’t have your student ID.

IDs may be left in dorms and dining halls, fallen out of pockets, run through the dryer or in my case, grow feet and walk away.

This has happened to me not once, not twice, but at least seven times and I had to pay $25 each time to get a new one. That’s a total of $175 in just over two years.

This doesn’t even include the cost if you simply forget your ID in your room and have to pay a lock out fee, starting at $5 and increasing up to $20.

Students are expected to carry around a little piece of plastic to enter class buildings, dorm halls and obtain meals, while also remembering biology lectures and symbolism in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

I have been late to classes and meetings searching my entire room for my ID. With the stress of being a college student, along with my responsibilities as an athlete and having a part time job, my ID is the last thing I am thinking about before leaving my room.

If I am late to class there’s no problem, but if I can’t find my ID, I’m out $25 and can’t buy groceries. Why does misplacing a replaceable piece of plastic have greater consequences than missing a lecture?

It should not. The university is using the ID to take more money from broke college students because $60,000 is not nearly enough.

During the day, desk aides are there to let someone into the dorm if needed.

However, what happens when the door locks at 1 a.m.? There is no one there to let someone in to inform the desk aide that their ID is lost. A student is then stuck outside, trying to find a way to get the desk aide’s attention.

I have been that student waving my arms outside the dorm, hoping to catch someone’s attention.

What happens if one loses their ID and only has a meal plan? They must pay $25 out of pocket on top of the already expensive meal plan. Half the time the ID doesn’t work for 24 hours, and one has to hope they get a nice dining hall worker who lets them in to eat despite their ID not swiping.

Obviously, security and safety of students is top priority at a school in the city.

However, why isn’t there an electronic alternative to the student ID?

Monica Chin, a senior writer for the Verge electronic reviews, wrote that, beginning in 2018, Apple began to support student IDs in the electronic Apple Wallet at three universities. Since, that number has grown to almost 100. Universities such as Temple University and University of Alabama have introduced the digital ID to eliminate the extra stress on a student to remember physical identification.

Why hasn’t Duquesne picked up this innovation that is so accessible in the 21st century? It will eliminate the stress of students losing or forgetting their IDs, as well as the cost of obtaining a new one. It also will ensure that a student ID cannot be found in the wrong hands if one does lose their ID.

Now what if your phone dies and you cannot access your new ID? There are several places to charge electronics on campus, even if someone just needs a few minutes. Instead of having no way of getting your ID back, you will just have to find a charging source.

To make charging stations even more accessible, there can be a charging station at the front desks if a student has no other option.

Eliminating plastic student IDs will also limit our carbon footprint as a university. With every new school year comes another chunk of plastic wasted for new IDs and another couple thousand IDs thrown away from graduates and lost by students.

There can also be the option to still have a physical ID, if a student prefers this method. This will create a minimum amount of pollution and unnecessary plastic usage, as most students would most likely opt for the digital ID.

Overall, digital student IDs will reduce stress, minimize Duquesne’s carbon footprint and eliminate the unnecessary extra costs for lost IDs.