Kathleen Clyburn, For The Miami Student

A lost Miami ID card costs a replacement fee of $35, and repairing a damaged card has a fee of $10.

However, Brian Woodruff, director of Housing Options, Meals and Events (HOME), said he believes the use of smart ID cards is safer, more efficient and more cost-effective than the use of keys.

“The use of smart card technology eliminated the need for student room keys on campus and provides additional security and convenience,” Woodruff said. “Prior to the electronic door access, when a student lost their room key, the room had to be re-keyed, which had a significantly higher cost, and involved more labor and materials.”

He said the newer smart cards are more expensive to produce than keys and traditional mag-stripe only cards; however, the university does not charge an initial fee for the smart ID cards. Every student is issued a smart card upon enrollment to the university.

Also, if a student possesses an old, “non-smart” ID card, they can take their old card to the H.O.M.E. office and have it replaced free of charge, Woodruff said. Where fees do pop up is when a student loses or damages their card. According to Woodruff, the university is not for profit so this fee goes into covering costs incurred from the ID printing, as well as towards card readers and door access maintenance and program reinvestment.

Miami students are curious about the exact usage of the fees they pay, including sophomore Kahlie Hake.

“You have to wonder where all of our money is going,” Hake said. “In certain instances Miami is starting to look like a corporation and not an institution focused on education and student interests.”

Students on campus have expressed opinions about using their smart phones to hold the same information held on a smart ID card.

“I believe this would be a good option,” Hake said. “It would allow students with smart phones to hold all of their card information on something that they always carry and it would eliminate the risk of losing or damaging an ID card and having to pay the fees, as well as eliminating any maintenance and labor costs surrounding smart ID cards to the university.”

Miami embraces these types of student requests and ways to be more efficient and effective, according to Woodruff. The university is in the process of investigating the possibility of using smart phones in place of smart ID cards.

The university has not moved forward with these plans yet, wanting the technology to be available and advanced enough to uphold Miami’s standards of safety surrounding the residence halls, students and their account information.

“Safety and security are top priority when it comes to the campus ID card, as they provide access to student rooms, meal plan accounts, and MUlaa accounts,” Woodruff said.

For now, smart ID cards will remain in effect as will the lost or damaged card fees.