WMU News

More than 2,000 new student IDs issued first day

March 23, 2005

KALAMAZOO--New photo-ID cards were issued to 2,045 Western Michigan University students at Lawson Arena on Tuesday--the first day of a two-week campaign to get new cards in the hands of as many students as possible.

Some early technical problems were quickly resolved, and by 10 a.m. Tuesday, everything was running smoothly, according to Bob Coffman of WMU's Department of Public Safety, who is directing the card processing. No further problems were encountered, said Coffman, who hopes to process even more students for new cards today.

Free student parking in all lots around the arena is more than ample, and lines of students waiting to be processed were generally limited to a dozen students or fewer.

Once students reached the head of the line, they typically had their new card and were on their way out the door within five to 10 minutes. 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. today and Thursday, March 23-24, and Monday through Thursday, March 28-31, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, March 25, and 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.

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

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