New SMU ID cards represent new approach to campus security

Designs for new SMU ID cards 2014For the first time in nearly a decade, SMU will issue a new form of ID card for campus access – and users have the option to choose their own best look for the new-look identification.

Students, faculty and staff members may visit IDCard.smu.edu to upload the passport-style photo of their choice – headshot, face forward, solid background – for the new, high-tech ID cards that will be issued during the summer. The deadline for submitting a new photo is Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

If you’re happy with your current photo, you may keep it. Your new ID card will be issued automatically.

The cosmetic changes are being driven by a new approach to building security, says Alison Tweedy, senior director, Campus Services. The University plans to equip campus buildings with proximity readers that activate with a wave or a tap rather than a swipe from an ID card. The new SMU data center and Residential Commons buildings, as well as the renovated Moody Coliseum, already have these readers or will install them before opening.

“That means we have to get the right kind of card into people’s hands,” Tweedy says. The new IDs are equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips about the size of a grain of rice, similar to those used in U.S. passports since 2007. The cards remain the same size and thickness as their non-RFID-equipped counterparts and will still fit into a standard-size card wallet, Tweedy says. “They will also be much more difficult to duplicate than in the past,” she adds.

Additionally, the new IDs will have public safety information printed on the back and distinctive new designs that instantly differentiate student cards from faculty/staff cards. “The new look is really exciting, and it’s a great opportunity for SMU to get its brand out there,” Tweedy says.

The cards will no longer have printed bar codes, but they will still have a magnetic swipe strip for use with meal plans and Pony Express cash.

Campus Services beta-tested the system in December 2013 with ID cards issued for occupants of Moody Coliseum and the data center. “Our goal is to have the new cards in all faculty and staff hands in June,” Tweedy says. Each individual will receive an activation code with the new ID card and must activate them as they would a credit card.

AARO students will receive new cards in July; all students enrolled for the Fall 2014 term will have new cards before the start of the academic year.

More on the new ID cards and campus security features will appear in future SMU Forum posts.

> Upload your photo at IDCard.smu.edu

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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