Officials: ID card price increased to deter loss but success remains to be seen

The replacement student ID card price was raised from $10 to $20 as a deterrent to students losing cards and for security reasons, said a university director — but whether this has caused a decline in the number of replaced ID cards remains to be seen.Emily Burgwyn, the director of student affairs and information services, said as of Nov. 17, there have been 1,312 cards replaced, which is about 290 fewer cards than last year. There have also been about 211 fewer cards found and re-encoded, she said.

However, she said she won’t know if the number of replaced cards has actually decreased until the end of the semester, and it is hard to determine whether a decrease would be due to the price increase.

Student ID cards are needed for a variety of on-campus services including meal plans, access to the library, dorms, athletic events and to receive certain student discounts, she said.

Many students have several cards in their possession and are giving their extra IDs to people who shouldn’t have them, which is one of the reasons for the price increase, Burgwyn said.

Lt. Ramiro Abad of the TCU Police Department said students are supposed to have one student ID each and if a police officer finds an invalid one, it will be confiscated.

“When you separate from TCU, you are supposed to turn in your ID,” Abad said.

Abad said there is no way to tell whether the price increase has helped with security, but he will continue to take extra cards from students when he finds them.

Codie Kretzer, a junior geology major, said he had to replace his card last week after looking in his dorm and car for it.

Kretzer said he wasn’t pleased when he realized the price had increased, even though students can send the bill home.

“If they want to raise prices on that, they should lower prices on parking tickets,” Kretzer said.

Burgwyn, who has supervised the ID Center for about 22 years, said since she has been there, it has always cost money to replace a lost card. She said there is no charge to replace a broken or worn card a student brings in.

“We raised the fee to impress upon students that this is not just a piece of plastic they can just set down,” Burgwyn said.

Before send home, students had to go to Student Financial Services, pay the $10 fee and bring the receipt back to the ID Center, Burgwyn said.

Burgwyn said she thinks since send-home was instituted for ID card replacement, the price has been too insignificant and the card too conveniently replaced.

Amanda Zoch, a junior secondary social studies education major, said when she replaced her card last semester, she didn’t know they were charging her for it and thought the ID was not worth the cost to replace it.

Zoch said if she were living off-campus, she wouldn’t bother replacing her card if she lost it.

Burgwyn said each student signs a paper allowing the ID Center to charge his or her account for the price of the card.

There was also an e-mail sent out and signs put up at the beginning of the semester informing students of the price increase, Burgwyn said.

Angela Spradlin, a sophomore speech pathology major, said she is glad she has never lost her card and hopes she won’t because she doesn’t want to pay the fee to get it replaced.

“Credit card replacements are free, why should we pay for that?” Spradlin said.