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by Shari Matsudo, student writer


HPU has adopted a new student ID system that provides greater security protection and will allow students to use their ID as reloadable gift cards at downtown vendors. As early as this spring or next summer, the new ID system will allow students to put money on their IDs and use them like debit cards at restaurants and approved stores in downtown as well as at the Hawai‘i Loa cafeteria and laundry room.

The new ID card system was kicked off Aug. 26. James Silva, manager of the Learning Assistance Center, which has been overseeing issuing of the new ID card, discovered Heartland Campus Solutions, the company responsible for it.

Silva joined HPU two years ago, and started looking for an alternative to the old student ID system, which was experiencing problems.

“ The University was investing a lot of money in a system that had many flaws and wasn’t directly benefiting the student,” said Silva.

While researching different companies that had credentials with student ID cards, Silva discovered Heartland’s multifunctional card that can function as a campus ID as well as a prepaid card for books, laundry, food at off-campus restaurants, and more.

Silva said the IDs will benefit the community, with a 1.5 percent of each off-campus purchase giveback to the University.

Many mainland universities are registered with Heartland, and while Silva’s research led to HPU’s new multifunctional campus ID card, initial steps by the University were through a UniCard committee created in the HPU technology department.

“ HPU is the only university I’ve seen with the student ID system under the information technology department. Other universities have their student ID system under student life, the registrar’s office, or the business office,” said Silva.

The UniCard committee looked at three different systems before it pitched Heartland to the University.

At first, students were puzzled by the new student ID card. Leanna Overstreet wondered “what all the numbers on the card mean.”

Overstreet wasn’t the only one. The old student ID card had only the student’s ID number, while the new card has that as well as 16-digits number that look like a credit card number and a 14-digit number below that.

The appearance of the new ID card has also changed. Instead of the light-blue background with the island of O‘ahu, the new student ID features the scenic Hawai‘i Loa campus.
Yurika Yo said she likes the new look: “It’s nicer than the old one,” she said.

The card also allows students access, via a sensor or a swiping system, to the computer lab and the Sea Warrior Center. Yo said the swiping system doesn’t always work.

“ I don’t like how the swipe thing works at the computer labs because it doesn’t go through smoothly,” Yo said.

However, Sarah Yeh thinks the card will be “more convenient because in the future, it’s going to cooperate with a bank.”

Although the ID card will not directly link with a bank, Yeh has the right idea of what the future of the new student ID holds, according to Silva. Through Heartland Campus Solutions, students can transfer money from a bank account directly onto their student ID card. In addition, given permission by the student, parents can track their spending online through Heartland.

So where students can put money on their ID, and does this money rollover each semester? Right now, the details are being worked out. The University is considering creating a card department just to deal with matters for the student ID card, Silva said. If a card department is developed, students would go there to place money on their card to spend at different stores around the downtown area.
All money placed on the card will rollover each semester except money placed on the ID for printing purposes at the computer center, said Silva. This reloadable gift card possibility is planned to take effect this summer, sooner if the legal issues can be cleared up more quickly, Silva added, and for now, any issues with the new ID card may be brought to the Learning Assistance Center.

Although the reloadable gift card concept is still in the process of being worked out, the new student ID card is already showing off its capability for security protection. Students who live at the Hawai‘i Loa residence halls use their student IDs to gain access to the halls, and Silva said, the University is working on the Hawai‘i Loa cafeteria and laundry room so that students can use their IDs to pay for their food and laundry.



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