CU-Boulder students will take the first step toward automating many of their business transactions this spring when their pictures are taken for the new Buff OneCard, designed to provide one-stop shopping for administrative and some commercial transactions on and off campus.
The Buff OneCard will become the new identification card for students university business including access to dining halls, the Recreation Center, Wardenburg Health Center, Norlin Library and eventually to buildings or portions of buildings that now require a key to enter.
A key feature of the new card is that it will no longer require a validation sticker providing proof of full-time student status. Instead, a magnetic strip on the card will electronically verify the students enrollment status by accessing data from the Student Information System.
Also, since the new card will tap into the information system, the cards will provide up-to-date verification of enrollment status, according to Registrar Bill Haid. That means if a student has dropped below full-time status, the privileges of that status -- such as access to the Recreation Center -- will automatically be revoked.
The card also will electronically verify a students class standing, fee payment status and other information. ID card readers at campus departments will provide information about students when they use their cards for services, such as verifying proof of insurance at Wardenburg or permitting books to be checked out at the library.
Another option for students will be the opportunity to use their campus identification cards for commercial uses on campus, such as vending machines, the bookstore and in the University Memorial Center food court, as well as other locations.
The card will provide access for students who want it, and who are members of the U of C Federal Credit Union, to make on- and off-campus purchases at businesses and to charge long-distance phone calls through MCI. Businesses that accept the card are those in the national Star Explorers network including King Soopers, Safeway, Albertsons, Target, Jiffy Lube and many others.
The card also will function as a debit card at ATM machines. About 60 percent of students currently have accounts at the credit union, making them eligible to use the card for debit purchases.
Off-campus purchases and ATM transactions made with the card will require a PIN (personal identification number) as part of the Buff Gold program. On-campus purchases at vending machines and other campus sites will not require a PIN as part of the Buff Bucks program. ATM access will be available though the major ATM networks.
Although the card will be required for identication, building access and for some university services, use of the card for debit purchases and long-distnace calling will be completely optional, said Barbara Ross, associate registrar.
We think students will find the new card more convenient for conducting university business because of its ability to access information, which will immediately answer questions about a students status, she said. We also think the commercial uses will be handy for students, but its entirely up to the student to use those features or not.
In April, students who plan to return next fall will have digital photographs taken for the new cards, which they will receive by mail in July, according to Ross.
Freshmen and new transfers will receive the cards from June through August when they attend orientation, or in the first days of the fall 1997 semester during final orientation sessions.
The cards will be issued free of charge to students but replacement cards will cost $15.
Eventually faculty and staff at CU-Boulder will have new identification cards and will be able to use many of the debit features of the card offered to students, said Ross.