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Aug. 25, 2005

New Student ID's Are the Future at ULM

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is in the process of implementing a Campus Wide ID (CWID). This change will increase the privacy and security of student's personal information. It will also greatly reduce the number individuals that have access to their social security numbers (SSN's).

Tom Whatley, interim director of the ULM Computing Center, said, "We are making the change to a Campus Wide ID because we realize that more and more people are being affected by identity theft and believe that this is just one way we can protect our students."

This adjustment will allow students access to on-campus services without the use of their SSN for identification, as old ID cards used in the past. Though, as recently as last year, campus ID cards began being produced without printing SSN's on the card.

All students currently in the Student Information System will be assigned an eight-digit CWID that will replace their SSN as the primary student identification number. With the new CWID, students will be able to go to Indian Bank or any other office on campus and complete a transaction using their new CWID number rather than their SSN.

Cynthia Crosby, junior mass communications student at ULM said, "I was wondering why they had it (SSN) on there. I am glad that they are taking it off, I don't want anybody to steal my ID."

"It will increase the privacy of their college records and decrease the opportunity for identity theft," said Connie Reeks, manager of application programmers in the Computing Center at ULM. "The new number students will be assigned will remain theirs even after they leave ULM. It can be used to request transcripts or other records from ULM in the future."

The process begins September 26 when students log onto Arrow (online registration) with their SSN, Arrow will display the student's new CWID number. The student may use either number for accessing Arrow. (Either number can also be used by faculty and staff for accessing a student's records in the Student Information System.) If a SSN is used, the system will replace it with the CWID on the screen display. Most screens, reports and files will be modified to show the CWID in place of the SSN. The SSN will not be used unless it is required such as on W2's and 1099T's.

For new ID cards, students will be asked to come by the SACS office during the month of October to have their photos taken. The new cards will be distributed beginning November 28 when students return from the Thanksgiving break, but will not be used until January 2006, when students return to campus for the spring semester. At that time, they must have a new ID card that has been encoded with the CWID.

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