Up-to-date system offers new access to campus facilities and amenities
After a year of planning and implementation, the new Owl Card is set to grace the campus with its new look and new features.
According to Laura Seraichick, chief information officer, the new features on the Owl Card include spending at vending machines, food sources on campus, and usage at the recreation center and the library.
This is also a security measure since the old Owl Card succumbs to worn out names, faces, numbers and magnetic strips.
In the Zorn Dining Commons, students and staff are no longer allowed to punch in their identification number at the scanner if they have lost or forgotten their card.
“The campus policy is that every student have their ID on their person at all time,” said Gordon “Gordi” Davis. “You wouldn’t think of getting in your car without your driver’s license, so why would you go on campus without your ID. The facial features had worn off, as has the name and an identification serves no purpose if that has happened,” commented Gordi, the cashier at the Zorn Dining Commons. With the names and faces worn off of the card, it gets harder to prove that the person holding the card is the person it’s supposed to be. “The intent is that it will last longer,” Rebecca Briggs, registered dietitian in the dining commons, said.
She added that the card will be more durable due to its double lamination.
With that in mind, security measures have been taken in the dining commons and in the Spaulding Gymnasium.
The Spaulding Gymnasium has taken similar measures where students and faculty have to swipe in. This was put in place to prevent non-students from getting in. “If someone doesn’t have an ID, we can ask them to leave,” director of recreational sports Lynne Andrews said.
“If the card is so beat up and worn off, we will tell them to go get a new one,” she added. Another feature of the card is the online aspect where one can check their balance and even report their card lost or stolen.
Seraichick said the students wanted increased functionality on the card.
When proposed to former President Helen Giles-Gee and her cabinet, they made it a priority.
The team put together to create the new card started planning in the spring of 2011. By the fall, it had the project underway and, one year later, the card was finished and put to the test.
The people who received the new card were the new incoming students and new employees. There is, however, according to Briggs, going to be a swap period in November when students will be able to trade in their old ID for the new one.
“You have to turn in a card to get it replaced and it has to be your active card,” Briggs said. Students do not, however, need to get the new card if they do not want to.
“Eventually everyone will have the new Owl Card,” Andrews said.
Seraichick confessed to a possible plan of having local stores get in on the action and have functions where you can use your card to buy products. “This card has that capability whether Keene State chooses to do that or not,” she said.
Before long, the old card will be a thought of the past as the new, more durable and sleeker card takes precedence.
Michael Woodworth can be contacted at