Students express concern with OneCard

The Bearkat OneCard has raised many questions.Troy Voelker, director of Bearkat OneCard Services, said in an e-mail dated Aug. 26, that “the Bearkat OneCard provides students, faculty, and staff with a single solution ID card that is able to handle a large variety of functions.”The new ID card provides students with a debit card, NOT a credit card. Higher One, the financial institution providing the Bearkat OneCard, recognizes the amount of student debt that exists in today’s society. Sean Glass, Vice President of Marketing at Higher One, said in an e-mail dated Aug. 26, 2003 that, “we’re very conscious of student debt and have never felt that it would be right to make the student ID a credit card.”Voelker explained that the university and the students receive benefits from the OneCard. “The OneCard provides the ability to manage financial aid refund options in addition to basic ID services,” said Voelker. Glass said, “students get money faster.” Glass also said that the OneCard gives students the option to receive a paper check, apply their money to the OneAccount or transfer their funds to their own personal bank account. “The primary benefit for the university is the cost savings benefit,” Glass said.Universities today are working towards a paperless, keyless work environment. Voelker said, “for faculty and staff, the OneCard will eventually provide building and parking access.” The Higher One website says the OneCard provides that capability. The OneCard will allow universities to reduce the task of writing financial aid checks and payroll checks, in addition to reducing the amount of time and employees used for the process.The Bearkat OneCard works in conjunction with a student’s OneAccount. The OneAccount is a basic checking account. The card currently has no monthly fee and no minimum balance. The Bearkat OneCard provides students with many benefits. The OneCard allows students to make purchases anywhere a Mastercard is accepted. The card also provides students with OneRewards.Students, faculty and staff can go online to redeem their OneRewards at http://www.bearkatone.com. The OneRewards program began September 1st and includes 19 local merchants. The Bearkat OneCard website shows the following merchants: 20% Merchant- University Cleaners; 15% Merchants- Any Occasion Gifts, CiCi’s Pizza; 10% Merchants- Casa Tomas, El Chico, Gathright Studio, Ernst Jewelers, Mt. Vernon Gift Shop, Rose Cleaners; and 5% Merchants- Amaya Collision Center, CJ’s Caf, Clothes ‘n Time, Comet Cleaners, Mr. Hamburger, University Hotel, TextbookX.com, Hunts Auto Center, Papa John’s Pizza and Pizza Pro.One issue with the new ID card is if it is lost or stolen. Many students have a tendency to lose their ID cards, but what happens when their meal plan and other important information is lost with it?If a student reports their ID card lost or stolen, the card will be immediately suspended. The new ID card will be mailed to the primary address provided by the student. If the student needs an ID card immediately for dorm access or meal plan they can visit the Bearkat OneCard office located in AB3 in room 217.The money is FDIC insured and with the Mastercard debit card they have a zero liability. In other words, if the card is stolen and someone uses it, the student will not be held responsible for any amount.Many students, faculty and staff at SHSU have mixed feelings about their new ID card. Robyn Moss, a senior at SHSU says, “I don’t feel comfortable with my Sam ID looking like a credit card.””It doesn’t concern me that it looks like a credit card,” says Ashley Rogers, senior. Then Rogers continued by saying, “I fear that someone will steal it because it looks like a credit card.”Dr. Brandau-Brown, a Speech Communications professor at SHSU, says, “I worry about students losing their ID’s and the loss of money.”Yet, not all students seem concerned.Michelle Pham, a senior at SHSU says, “I love it! I have more money on my Bearkat OneCard than in my bank account because my financial aid went on my card.”

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