September 8, 2011

Cornell Implements Charge for Replacing ID Card

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On July 1, Cornell began charging members of the University $40 to replace their first lost ID card, nixing the previous policy of issuing first replacements for free.

University Registrar Cassie Dembrosky said that the University is not profiting from the charge.

“[The $40 fee] actually just covers the cost of the ID cards,” Dembrosky said. “Basically, we were losing money.”

The University issues 15,000 ID cards a year, 1,000 of which are replacements for losses.  Freshmen, new employees, new graduate students and students who come for continuing education are all issued ID cards for free.

“I guess you could say it is financial. ID cards are expensive,” Dembrosky said. “Every office is struggling financially. We looked at how can we make sure that we can continue to function, continue to provide services. And we unfortunately had to look at various fees.”

Students need their ID cards on a daily basis for a variety of activities, such as gaining access to the libraries, buses and dining halls.

“Your ID card is your key to campus,” Dembrosky said. “And this is a penalty for losing the card.”

The idea of implementing the charge began around January or February during talks between Dembrosky and Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73 about the 2011 school year budget.

Dembrosky has personally received only two complaints about the new replacement fee since its implementation.

So far, “it has been pretty quiet,” she said.  “Maybe there will be less replacements this way.”

Original Author: Rebecca Friedman