Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

New Pennsylvania voter ID law may disqualify some students

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The University of Pennsylvania student ID card will pass as a legitimate voter ID in the November elections, but students holding an ID card from other universities in Pennsylvania may be out of luck.

The state’s new voter ID law states that a valid ID must have an expiration date. IDs from Drexel, Pennsylvania State and Point Park universities and LaSalle College currently do not carry such a date.


According to the new law, other valid forms of identification include a driver license or the free photo ID issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Out-of-state driver licenses will not be valid at Pennsylvania polls.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging the law, said there could be many more colleges in Pennsylvania facing this problem.

Joel Weidner, director of information systems for Penn State, said the school purposely removed the expiration dates from their student IDs in 2004. Expiration dates do not take into account students withdrawing from Penn State or the amount of time students are enrolled. An expiration date on a card is “not a trustworthy thing,” he said.

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A month-old security policy at Emerson College, called Tap and Go already has some off-campus students raising safety and usability concerns.

Under the new system, everyone entering an Emerson campus building must tap their IDs or be signed in. The policy also mandates that the outside doors of residence halls be locked automatically, requiring a campus ID to enter, according to a report in the Berkeley Beacon.

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Students attending the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus can now ride Pinellas County buses for free when they show drivers their student ID.

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Mississippi Sate university is takes its football seriously, in particular its student admissions. The university sent out a mass email last week reminding students of the proper usage of their ID cards come game day.

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Indiana University’s Student Association has passed a resolution that will allow students’ preferred names to appear on their IDs rather than their legal names.

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