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Many not wearing IDs, but badges still required

On January 22, 2013

Despite an almost universal lack of student compliance, the new policy requiring students and staff to wear their ID badges will remain in effect, according to a UDM official.

"I knew that it was a cultural change," said Tamara Batcheller, associate vice president for facilities management. "I knew that it wasn't going to be a smooth start obviously... But I think it's up to the faculty, staff and administrators to set an example."

Batcheller has been wearing her ID badge since the policy went in place last semester. Although it was a minor inconvenience at first, she said that putting on her lanyard has become just as much a part of her routine as tying her shoes.

Batcheller said that she didn't have any expectations for how students would react to the policy. But after the feedback she and other administrators have received, she believes students need to try to understand the importance of the policy.

The badges are a small change to add some security to campus, she said.

"I do believe that the policy has helped with the (entrance) gates," she said. "It would help a lot more if more students were to wear them. I understand that it's a minor inconvenience, but that's what security is."

Some students have argued that because they are paying UDM to attend classes, they are customers and that customers should never be inconvenienced by having to wear their IDs.

Batcheller has an answer for those students.

"When I'm on an airplane, I'm a paying customer," she said. "I shouldn't have to go through all of the things that I have to go through to get on a plane, but that's just part of security."

A recent look around campus revealed that few students were displaying their ID badges.

James Emon, a sophomore, said he doesn't wear the ID badge but does carry one.

"I carry mine in my wallet - like a regular person," he said.

He thinks the policy is dumb and that the badges make students look silly.

Conversely, Darren Houston, a communications major, said he tries to comply with the policy.

Houston clips his ID to his jacket when on campus, and stores it in his backpack when he leaves. He said that the IDs do actually serve a purpose.

 "I like to know who is a student," he said. The IDs help him easily identify fellow students, which is part of their purpose.

Senior Chelsea Bates, one of the most vocal opponents when the policy was adopted in November, said that she hasn't seen any repercussions for not wearing her ID badge.

The only place she has been asked for ID is at the Titan Fitness Center, she said.

"It's one of the only places where you actually need an ID just to open the front door," she said.

As for student participation, Bates said that she hasn't seen much beyond the initial week or two.

"I just saw it slowly dwindle," she said. "Some of my professors still wear them, though."

Batcheller said that the administration hasn't been discouraged by the lack of compliance.

"I believe that there will be things that will happen in the next few years that will make it easier for students to just say, 'OK, it makes more sense just to wear this,' " she said.

She anticipates that the entries to most buildings on campus will have proxy readers like those at the Fitness Center and dorms, and students will end up having their ID badges out anyways, so it will become more convenient to affix them to their clothing.

"It will get easier over time," she said. "It's a policy that's not going away."

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