The identity chain is a delicate thing, and being one of its links isn’t always a good thing. For the campus card, use cases beyond the walls of campus are tricky — some are useful, some aren’t — and it really depends on the information that’s printed on the credential that will ultimately determine how the ID can be used and for what purposes.
One of the possible uses for a student ID that divides opinion is age verification for bar entry and alcohol purchases. Some campuses have welcomed this as a feature of their student ID and others haven’t.
Seton Hall University falls under the latter as it’s campus card does not feature student birth dates and therefore cannot be used as a form of age verification. But according to a report from student publication, The Setonian, a local bar has petitioned the campus card office to add student birth dates to future IDs to better facilitate age vetting at the door.
The Above Restaurant and Bar, a local watering hole, hosts college night every week and has a specific rule when it comes to checking IDs. Every patron that enters the bar for a drink has to present two forms of photo identification to prove they are of legal age.
The bar, in attempt to make its vetting process easier for everyone, recently advocated for the Seton Hall card office to print student birth dates on the campus’ ID cards. The university, as of yet, has no plans to do so.
It’s standard practice for bars and restaurants to require customers to show a driver license before serving alcohol, but not every establishment enforces a double ID system. It’s a request that would require the university to alter the campus card’s design, not to mention the possibility of having to reissue credentials to students en masse.
The simpler and perhaps safer route is to avoid use cases that are better left to other identity documents — like age verification — that would make the campus card a larger link in the identity chain.