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Campus News

The Mystery of Malfunctioning IDs

by Grace Hatton, Reverb editor

Our IDs are essential part of our lives on the Warren Wilson campus, and when an ID ceases to function it can be a major hassle in our already hectic lives. Recently there seems to have been an increase in malfunctioning IDs and many of us are left wondering what’s causing those petite white cards to call it quits.

This isn’t the first time Wilson has had issues with IDs. A few years ago the cards were made of plastic stock and thus they broke frequently. The College Press subsequently switched over the current composite cards which are more sturdy and flexible.

However the current issue with the IDs is an internal one. Our IDs are supplied through Alarsys Inc. and our Wilson connection at Alarsys Inc., Bruce Bacon, explains that “our cards are ‘passive’ in that they need to be ‘woken up’ to relay their data.” 

In the innards of our IDs there is a circle of copper wire, and that copper wiring acts as an antenna to receive a signal from one of our device readers, such as the locks on the doors and the scanners at dining locations, around campus. The wiring then forwards a signal to the chip in the corner and the card is ‘woken up,’ sending its programmed data to any device within range.

“Our concern now is that after a period of time, the cards stop waking up,” said Libba Miano of the College Press. “When we print a new card it scans normally for our system at the College Press, as well as the cafeterias and on the doors. However, somewhere in the life of the card the activation function ceases to work as it should.”

In order to counteract this problem, the College Press is slowly switching over to a new card which will be produced by a new manufacturer. In the meantime, the College Press urges students to take care of their cards, to use the free plastic covers that are available in the office to cover up IDs, and to stop by the College Press for a new ID if your current ID has succumbed to sleep.



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