ID policy changed again after stumble
By Ebony Ellis
College administrators will eliminate the ID policy responsible for charging students money to enter the building without their IDs.
The college will install a printer at the front security desk and will allow students to print their schedules as temporary IDs for free, according to City Colleges spokesperson Scott Brigham.
HWC has also issued a temporary reprieve during midterms week by allowing students to enter the building after showing only a government-issued ID. The old policy requiring $10 to print an ID will go back into effect March 18, according to leaflets issued by staff security, until the newer policy goes into effect.
A printer has been ordered, and its arrival will determine when the new policy will go into effect.
“It is hoped that this will be accomplished by the start of the summer semester if not before,” said Brigham in an email statement to The Herald.
“There will not be a fee for printing, and yes, there will be a limit to the number of times a student may use this as a means of entry into the building; however, the Dean and the Vice President are still conferring as to what that limit will be.”
The current ID policy that caused an uproar began earlier in the spring semester. The policy required students who forgot or lost their ID to pay $10 to be issued a new one. Students who could not pay for a new one were prohibited from entering the building.
Although the policy significantly reduced the amount of students who needed to approach the front security desk because they forgot their ID, it created a new hassle for students and teachers who thought the policy was impeding student learning.
Some faculty members reported that they had to come to the entrance to prove that students were in their class. For Kamran Swanson, president of Faculty Council, it was more than just an issue of security, which was the administration’s rationale for the strict ID policy.
“I understand the need for security, especially for a building in downtown Chicago for students and staff focus on teaching and learning. The current policy targets students who are in good standing and not the students who have been kicked out,” said Swanson. “That is inexcusable for an institution like ours, and anything keeping our students from attending class is wrong.”
In one class, 5 out of 30 students recalled missing a day of classes due to forgetting their IDs, according to Swanson. As president of Faculty Council, Swanson worked with Vice President Armen Sarrafian, and asked for feedback from from students and faculty who were affected by the policy to come up with a solution.
President Margie Martyn commented on the ID issue, and said she would work with Faculty Council to solve the problem.
“In the spirit of shared governance, I want to get everyone’s input, and I’m never shy to accept that, and we’ll give you some updates soon,” she said at the State of the College address, Feb. 9.
Last fall, students who came to school without their ID were ordered by security staff to sign an “ID compliance contract” to gain access to the building. The contract said students would have to present an a HWC ID by an agreed upon date or pay a $10 fee for a new ID. The money collected from the fees went to a general fund for the security department.
The ID policy decreased the number of students that forget their IDs, according to Johnny Patterson, an employee at front desk security.
“The policy itself has decreased the amount of students who come to the front desk concerning their ID from a couple hundred a day to 30 a day,” said Patterson.
Other staff members have also contributed ideas to fix the issue.
“A lot of ideas were thrown around,” said Swanson. “Wendell Blair, Dean of Student Services, bought a bunch of phone cases with pockets attached to them specifically for students to place their IDs. He believes that students never forget their phones, so the idea for placing the IDs with the phone’s occurred. Sarrafian’s idea of the printer kiosk seemed like the best.”