Coding Error Creates Issues with Student IDs


Kim Moran from Compass Student Services reprogramming a student ID

Students with redesigned school IDs quickly noticed their inability to access certain campus resources, making orientation, and the first week of classes, more lively than usual this year.

“I wanted to go to the gym,” said first-year student, Nicholas Feeney, after trying to swipe into the fitness center. “But [the student worker] said my ID wasn’t registering.”  

In addition to the fitness center, students with new IDs could not access the library, mail center, various printers on campus, or even the city bus.

The reasoning behind this inaccess: a missing line of code.

The first line of code of each student ID card notes that respective student’s seven digit identification number, which is used by many campus operations, like those aforementioned.

“Our printer was not set to program the card properly,” said Danielle L’Esperance, manager of Compass Student Services. ID printing was moved to their office over the summer. This would be the first time Compass would be responsible for IDs. 

“But nothing that goes wrong [with IDs] is a permanent failure,” mused L’Esperance. “We just need to ask the right questions and ask our friends at UVM for help.” 

The University of Vermont (UVM) is nationally renowned for their advancements in coding and identification systems, and were of great help to Champlain during the ID dilemma. Champlain leases all ID technology from the state school, and receives aid when the machines need to be serviced. UVM provided a quick fix to the card crisis by installing a new piece of hardware to Champlain’s ID printer that allowed new IDs to be reprogrammed correctly. 

Students with IDs issued from August 1st to August 28th of this year (including returning students with redesigned IDs) have been getting their cards correctly encoded at Compass Student Services—not Residential Life—since Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019.

Those affected by the coding error were sent an email by L’Esperance last week which expressed the college’s apologies and offered students an opportunity to enter into a raffle. Three winners will receive a Visa gift card.