By Derek Woellner —

University of Wisconsin–Stout students will soon be able to switch out their old StoutOne ID cards for the new Stout BlueCard.

The contract with HigherOne, the issuers of the StoutOne card, ends next fall. Stout did not seek to renew the contract and instead has taken on the responsibility of providing students with a new card that better fits their needs.

The BlueCard will have all the same on-campus functionality as the old ID cards. Students will still be able to check out library books, use on-campus debit accounts such as Baseline and Flexline and use their cards for door access.

But unlike the StoutOne card, the BlueCard will not be linked to an external bank account, meaning students will no longer be able to use their ID card as an off-campus debit card.

In determining what changes to make to the card, Campus Card Director Grady Richartz said, “We listened to what the students needed.”

Richartz and others were asked by the vice-chancellor to look into different card options. In order to determine what the students wanted, they distributed a student banking relationship survey.

The survey found that students wanted an instant issue card with no activation and clarity with their refund disbursement.

Richartz revealed, “92 percent of our students responded that is was very important or important for an instant issue card.” An instant issue card will be printed on the spot. Students will no longer have to wait for a new card to be sent in the mail.

“When we were with HigherOne, the refund process and the card issuance were tied together. Now we’re breaking those [apart] so the ID card is strictly for ID functionality … and then the refund process is through the business office. Students will never be confused during that portion,” Richartz explained. This should make the entrance into college a little less stressful for incoming students.

Students also asked for lower card replacement fees and higher card quality.

The new card replacement fees will be $20 for a lost card and $10 for a broken card. The old replacement fee was $20 for both lost and broken cards, and an extra $5 for the temporary card students would need while their replacement card was coming in the mail.

Students will also be eligible for a free replacement card after two years.

The new cards use a more pliable plastic than the old ones and are less likely to crack. The plastic is also 100% biodegradable.

The BlueCard’s new design makes it compliant to the state voter ID law that will come into effect in the near future.

The design also makes it easier to tell whether the ID belongs to a staff or faculty member or a student. Staff and faculty cards will feature a blue background while student cards will appear mostly orange.

The back of the new BlueCard will have a list of important campus phone numbers.

Students living in the dorms will be the first to receive the new BlueCard. They can visit the Campus Card Office in room 110 in Price Commons before April 15 to update their signature and photo. If students are happy with their current photo, they can keep it.

North Campus residents can then pick up their new cards on April 20 and 21 in North Point room 39 between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

South Campus residents can pick their cards up on April 22 and 23 on the first floor in Price Commons between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Off-campus residents, faculty and staff will be able to stop in the Card Office after April 27 during regular business hours to have their photo and signature taken. Their card will be printed as they wait.

Graduating seniors do not need to update their ID card, but they can if they choose to.


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