Fraud necessitates new student ID policy

In years past, students could use their St. Edward’s University ID numbers in lieu of a physical ID card when purchasing food on campus. But this year, university dining halls will no longer accept students’ ID numbers in place of the cards.

“Too many students were giving out wrong numbers,” said Margaret Samilpa, a cashier for Bon Appetit.

The change is to avoid fraud from students who might know multiple ID numbers by memory and try to use them at the register, according to Vonita Edens, the office manager for Bon Appetit. 

Because of this fraud, the university had to take a stand and pull the plug on accepting ID numbers.

“We had people steal cards… stealing meal plans or Topper Tender. We had two or three people last year that ran up more than 20 dollars of theft, basically,” said Michael Stone, director of auxiliary services.

The new card-only rule is meant to serve as a protection and service for students.

“It’s a convenience to students to punch in numbers, but because of fraud we had to stop. It was the only way we thought we could affectively stop the problem,” Stone said.

Students have mixed opinions on the change.

“I think it’s really inconvenient because it’s easy to misplace our ID cards, and as college students we don’t want to use credit cards or cash. I think it’s our money so we should be able to access it however we want,” said sophomore Kelsey Peters.

Taylor Rainbolt, a junior, is on the other side of the fence when it comes to this new rule.

“I think that it’s smart because the loss of money people have encountered from it,” Rainbolt said.

These cases of fraud were passed on to the University Police Department, according to Stone, but it is unknown whether these students were criminally charged or not. If students were charged, this type of fraud would be considered identity theft.

Purchasing items under someone else’s identity is a state jail felony. A person can serve anywhere from 180 days to two years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000, according to Texas Fraud Laws.