One-Card Slated for Launch in Fall Of 2008 with Phased Expansion Plan

The highly anticipated onecard is slated to arrive on campus next fall. Initially, students will be able to use a one-card, an enhanced student ID card, for payments and access to certain buildings on campus. Eventually, the one-card system might include access to most academic buildings and dormitories, online sign-in and color printing and copying in the library, according to Director of Technology Valerie Roman. But placing card scanners at every building will be a lengthy and expensive process which does not yet have a set date. A year from now, according to the plan, students will be able to use the one-card to purchase items at the Ryley Room, the Andover Bookstore, the art store, the Harrison rink, the Athletic Office and vending machines. The card will also operate laundry machines. The school also plans to extend the one-card system to businesses downtown like the Andover Bookstore, CVS and Bertucci’s. Students and parents will be able to put money on the one-card either online with a credit card or with machines that accept credit cards or cash. One-cards will also be able to unlock doors at buildings like Borden Gym and Morse Hall. Phillips Academy Public Safety (PAPS) will manage the door access system, controlling when doors can be unlocked and by whom. PAPS will be able to mintor who opens doors and at what times. Limited door access will only last during the night and when more security is needed, according to Roman. She noted that many independent student organizations meet during the evenings in the basement of Morse Hall. Roman also noted the benefits of the increased security during a shelter-in-place drill, a campus lockdown that was first tried last year. With the ability to lock and unlock all building doors automatically, Public Safety will be able to offer more protection to the campus. One-card implementation will be a multi-step process, and the decisions on the exact secured locations have not been determined, according to Athletic Director Mike Kuta. Possible secured areas include the fitness center, locker rooms and the trainer’s room. The gym will remain open during the afternoon and during games. The one-card may also allow students who have a medical excuse from sports to check in electronically at the trainers’ room. A student attendance log would also be used for Flexible Fitness Options, which take place in the gym. Kuta said, “There may be a documentation of attendance. That information could be used on a lot of levels…for giving credit but also [for] liability reasons.” Because these daily logs would facilitate the tracking of student activities, this feature of the one-card could be used in case a liability issue arises and the school needs to prove that a student was in the fitness center at the time of an incident. The Athletic Department is also considering using the one-card to charge students for sports equipment and to keep track of team uniforms. Once this second stage is completed, the school also plans to use the one-card to monitor activity attendance and track usage of certain locations on campus, including the Isham health center, the fitness room and computer labs. Phillips Academy might use the one-card ID function with portable readers to limit entry at overcrowded social events, according to Roman. This function could also be used to sell prom tickets or create attendance lists for both on and off-campus events. The one-card system will also make it easier to enforce some rules. A card scanner will be attached to print stations in the PACC to enforce payment at the copiers and printers. Patrice Ball, an assistant in the computer center, said, “[The students] are supposed to pay but I have to watch everybody. Most students are pretty good about paying, but some try to sneak out. I try to catch them if they do.” The card scanner will automatically add the charges to the students’ account, eliminating non-payment and the need for small change. The one-card operates under the Blackboard system, which offers pre-made arrangements with vendors like Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza, although the school has not made final decisions on which businesses to include, according to Roman. The Blackboard system also offers an online sign-in system, which would allow the one-card to track attendance around campus. Before PA commits to the implementation of a sign-in function on the one-card, a pilot system developed by Frank Pinto ’08 will gauge its effectiveness. Depending on the pilot’s success, Roman reported that the Technology Department might develop it into an application or implement it into the one-card. But most plans for the One-card are still just speculation, according to Comptroller Elliot Hacker. Hacker said, “We have ideas, but we are still very far from implementation. One of the biggest questions is what the cost will be to do everything. We would like to do everything, but the ‘everything bill’ is going to be much more than everyone wants to spend immediately. It’s going to have to be done in phases.”