Hays Atkins, general manager of Bon Appétit, gave several reasons for the ID switch, with cost at the top of the list. Production of the old IDs was labor-intensive and expensive, and the IDs were not durable. Returning students remember how the IDs fell apart easily, and students often had to pay for a replacement. The new IDs are made from hard plastic, similar to a drivers license, and are much more heavy-duty.
According to Atkins, overall appearance of the IDs was another reason for the change. Atkins said that the IDs were being "called into question" by several faculty members. A more official looking ID was wanted- especially when visiting other schools or traveling.
Brigit McGuire 05 says that, when showing her ID to other college friends, "they would laugh, and I would just feel inferior!"
Lindsey Reed 05 remembers when she "went to a movie theatre, and they didnt believe it was a real ID card." McGuire also noted that the old IDs "looked like you made them yourself."
Dean of Students Greg Kneser wrote an e-mail to the student body on Sept. 8, explaining that "this new [ID] system is more secure and versatile, and significantly less expensive than our old system. Our hope is that it will also enable us to add additional card services as appropriate in the future."
Atkins recalled the old ID system: standing in long lines to get a picture taken, then having to wait another week to get the actual ID card. The new ID system, which prints up a card within minutes, allowed new students to have their ID card by the end of Week One.
All St. Olaf students and faculty must get a new ID card by Oct. 17. To get one of the new IDs, stop into the Bon Appétit Board Office, located near Stav Hall. The best times to get one of the new IDs are during off-meal hours, particularly in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.