By Emily O’Connor, Senior Staff Writer
Miami’s decision to add birthdates to student ID cards is causing controversy among students who may no longer be able to use fake IDs Uptown.
According to Dean of Students Mike Curme, Miami removed birthdates from student ID cards in 2011, but the decision was reversed this semester. Many bars Uptown are taking advantage of the change and are requesting a Miami ID for admittance rather than other forms of identification, which may have false birthdates printed on them.
Brick Street Bar recently began requiring students to show two forms of ID. Other Oxford bars, including Mac & Joes and 45 East Bar & Grill, do not require students to show their student ID.
A significant number of college students own and use a fake ID. A 2010 study by University of Missouri and the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center (MARC) found that of the 1098 college students surveyed, 21 percent admitted to having a fake ID of some kind.
A first-year Miami student, who owns a fake ID and wished to remain anonymous, said the new student IDs are annoying, especially since most upperclassmen don’t have birthdates on their cards.
He added the student card is making it more difficult to use his fake ID and said he now has to resort to finding a 21-year-old to buy a drink for him.
Another male student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he doesn’t think adding birthdates to student cards will affect the Uptown nightlife whatsoever.
“Students with fake IDs are just going to find a bar that doesn’t require the student ID in order to get in,” he said.
The student said that he thinks the new addition, although a good idea for the university, can be inconvenient for students.
Many students feel the new addition to identification cards is a direct response to underage drinking and fake IDs on campus.
Last semester, universal support for the change was sought throughout the campus and Oxford, according to Curme. The department that prints the cards, Housing, Dining, Recreation & Business Services, did not object to the change.
“Oxford permit holders have been a part of this conversation, and they are committed to doing the right thing,” Curme said. “Not just because they can face legal consequences for serving those who are underage, but because they want to build a better community for everyone.”
Senior Alexa Nobis said she feels adding birthdates to IDs is a step in the right direction.
“I think it will ruin fake IDs, but it’s a good thing,” she said. “Many people, like freshmen, don’t know how to drink responsibly and don’t need to be going to bars Uptown.”
Nobis also said she hears many underage students are attempting to scratch off their birthdate on the ID.
“The scratch marks on their IDs are obvious and it probably won’t work,” she said.
Jerry Olson, director of the Office of Residence Life, said adding birthdates to the cards will be useful to the university when violations to the Student Code of Conduct occur, especially those being alcohol-related.
Any reports involving a violation of the Code of Student Conduct are sent to specific offices in which birthdates of the individuals involved are needed.
“Thus, having birthdates on the IDs saves time in looking for this information elsewhere,” said Olson.
Sophomore Megan O’Connell said although the new student cards may render fake IDs useless at many bars Uptown, she doesn’t’t think they will affect the drinking culture on campus. She said fake IDs are just one of the ways students get alcohol.
“I think fake IDs are a problem on college campuses everywhere in the U.S.,” she said. “I don’t think there is an easy solution to the problem.”