BY ASHLEY NEQUEST
Now that the new school year at Conestoga College is underway, Condors are having their first experiences with the much-anticipated ONE card.
Throughout the final months of the 2014-2015 school year, and the subsequent summer, both students and faculty received multiple emails informing them of the coming changes in college identification. Emails contained both important information as well as reminders to upload a headshot to be used as their new form of identification.
This card is drastically different from previous student cards, not just in appearance but in functionality. The card will eventually grant students access to Conestoga Students Inc.’s Health Services (a chiropractor and massage therapist), the Athletics and Recreation Centre, the Library Resource Centre (LRC) and printing around campus, as well as discounts with off-campus vendors.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with CSI to make sure this is something that is meant for the students and to add benefits to their daily lives,” said Adam Hustwitt, manager – retail, campus and testing services.
The idea behind the ONE card is to connect many of the technologies around campus to a single card. According to Hustwitt, in future this should include things beyond the LRC, such as the Welcome Centre, vending machines and potentially bus passes.
The addition of a bus pass to a universal student card is something that would have to come through CSI, though, according to Hustwitt, from an administrative perspective, “it is a potential, it has happened in other areas.”
Students at Conestoga College who want to use their student card as a bus pass do not have this luxury. Each student must pay over $200 per semester to receive a sticker on their card to allow them to ride a GRT bus without paying.
Receiving a ONE card is fairly easy and time efficient. Students may upload their own photo through their student portal, or head into the ONE card office, located in Room 2E08, to have their photo taken. Their student card will be created right in front of them. For some students who have completed the entire process it took only five minutes. Students must bring a form of government identification and proof of enrolment.
Those students who uploaded their photos in time to pick up the new card in September were entered into a draw to win one of five iPad minis.
“The giveaway was to encourage the photo upload so we could preprint the cards,” said Andrea Stevenson, manager/ONE card. “We felt we could improve the card pickup experience for the students and make it faster. We felt this was a success as the lines were short and fast.”
For more information about the ONE card go to www.conestogac.on.ca/onecard.