Line up all of the One Card IDs printed each year, including new cards and replacements, on their long side, end-to-end, and they’ll stretch from Lone Mountain to the Panhandle. That’s a distance of about half a mile.
This isn’t too far-fetched since the line of students getting new One Cards at the beginning of each semester is almost as lengthy.
In hopes of eliminating that line, One Card staff will be implementing a new online order system in fall 2019. This system will be available to students who need a replacement card at any point in the semester.
“We consider the campus card program to be a service and we are always looking to ways to improve service,” Jason Rossi said, who is director of the One Card office.
Students use the same card for all their years at USF. These plastic cards, which are made of partially recycled materials, allow students to access campus buildings, enter their on-campus residence hall, make purchases with Flexi and Dons Dollars and ride the Muni with their sticker. They have been a necessity for USF students since their implementation in 1996.
Currently, when a student loses their card, they are sent up to the One Card office in Lone Mountain to get a new one, a process that would be eliminated with the online order system. Students must pay $15 for the cost of the replacement card. Malfunctioning cards are replaced for free.
The new online system will allow students to pre-order replacements so the office can print them in advance. It usually takes a couple minutes to print each card, Rossi said, which is why the lines get so long. When ordering, students will be able to choose the date and time of pickup.
The One Card staff is also looking into adding a pickup location on lower campus so students do not have to scale Lone Mountain to grab their card.
Between lost cards replaced and new cards being distributed, the office issues 10,000 a year. That amounts to 116 pounds of plastic each year.
A majority of the cards printed are replacements, Rossi said.
Rossi said the first phase of the upcoming pre-order system will include mobile and online ordering. Each order will have a set retrieval time. “Following that, the next endeavor is to add the ability to select the desired pickup location,” Rossi said. “I think that bit will be especially helpful for students, but the logistics are still being worked out.”
Fromm Community Assistant and student Moorea Tait said her colleagues see two to three students who have lost their card or locked themselves out of their room every day.
Freshman Lizzie Oswalt lost her card on a run in the Fillmore and, thinking she had lost it forever, immediately raced up to Lone Mountain to get a replacement. A few hours later, she was notified that it had been found. Oswalt said she thinks the new system will make the process faster and eliminate some of the hassle.
A helpful addition, Oswalt said, would be adding an option to get Muni pass replacements. Currently, a re-issued One Card does not come with a Muni pass.
“The biggest issue that comes with this situation is losing a Muni pass, especially if you’re like me and need to use Muni almost everyday to get to and from a job,” Oswalt said. “A lot of times, [One Cards] are lost by pure accident and coincidence and last semester I had to live without my Muni pass for two months. This meant a lot more money spent on Uber rides, significantly decreasing my total money earned.”
Gabriel Greschler contributed to the reporting of this article.