Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Administration ditches physical ID cards for incoming class

Unlike in the year’s past, students must now make a special request to receive a physical ID card.

As the class of 2027 made their way onto campus for the first time, the administration made the decision to no longer provide physical ID cards. Rather, students downloaded the Get Mobile app to access their student ID exclusively on their mobile devices.  

While students were not provided with a physical ID as they were in previous years, students, staff and faculty are still able to have one printed at Campus Access Services in Strosacker Hall if needed.  

Amy Burchett, first-year AYA education and English major, said she was hesitant to not have a physical backup, but adjusted once she began using her mobile ID on campus. 

“I was kind of unsure about it because what if I forgot my phone somewhere, but it makes sense,” Burchett said. “We take our phone everywhere, so it’s alright, I don’t have a problem with it.” 

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Tom Bobek, director of Campus Access Services, said that accommodations will be made free of charge if a student or staff member is unable to have a mobile ID for any reason beyond their control.  

Mobile IDs were introduced two years ago to the campus with the Get Mobile app, allowing students to access buildings, use meal swipes and flex dollars and monitor their dining balances from their phones.  

“The initial thought was to go totally cardless on campus because students have the phone with them all the time and they’re less likely to lose their phone than a plastic card,” Bobek said.  

One feature not currently available in the Get Mobile app is the emergency phone numbers that students with a physical ID can find on the back of their card including BW Campus Security Dispatch, the police department and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

Students were sent emails with instructions to set up their ID before they came to campus but were also assisted by Campus Access Services and student leaders if they experienced any trouble once they arrived. Resident Assistants were also instructed on how to help first-year residents set up the app as they arrived on campus for move-in day. 

Claudine Grunenwald Kirschner, director of first-year and second-year experience, said that while she understands this decision, they have some concerns for students who have an exclusively mobile ID.  

“I think there’s lots of good reasons, like to just have it on your phone, but I have two concerns,” Grunenwald Kirschner said. “Personally, if someone’s phone is stolen or lost it gives little ability to function as there isn’t that backup and it requires students to have phones with them at all times.” 

If a student loses the ability to access their phone, students can still use their swipes as long as they know their ID number for the cashier to plug-in. Students who need to access a building can call security at any time for assistance.  

Katherine Dunham, a sophomore acting and director major, owns both a physical and mobile ID, using one or the other depending on what works better for the situation.  

“I like having a backup of a physical one because I know that sometimes the printer also messes up if it’s not your actual cards,” Dunham said. “So, I definitely prefer to have that physical backup, but I do use my phone.” 

Shawn Salamone, director of public information, said that mobile IDs are more efficient and convenient for students and staff, as well as less costly for the University.  

“Change is hard, and it just shakes you out of your routine, even if it’s something minor,” Salamone said. “Then I’ve watched this happen over and over again on campus and in a couple of years nobody [will] even remember that we had physical cards.” 

If you are having trouble with your mobile ID, contact Campus Access Services by phone (440) 826-2410 or email [email protected]. 

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