Baylor should offer digital student IDs

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

Have you ever gotten to the dining hall or SUB to grab a snack and realized you left your student ID at home? Have you ever been to a basketball game and gotten to the entrance to then realize you don’t have your ID and don’t have your ID number memorized either? Or, worst of all, have you ever gotten locked out of your dorm late at night with your ID laying on your desk in your room?

Chances are one of these things has happened to you at least one time in your days at Baylor, and you may have had to pay to replace your student ID once or twice. To solve this problem, Baylor should start offering digital student IDs in place of, or in addition to, the physical ones. It’s pretty easy to misplace or leave behind a small piece of plastic, but it’s not very often that students forget their phones at home.

Apple has already begun implementing student ID technology for several schools, including Clemson University, Georgetown University and University of San Francisco. According to an article from Tech Crunch, Apple’s vice president of internet services said these schools have experienced success with this new system and have purchased 1.25 million meals and open 4 million doors across campuses with a simple tap of an Apple Watch or iPhone.

These student IDs are present in the Apple wallet and allow for easy use and access without having to rummage through your real wallet to find it or worry about leaving it behind when it’s needed. Additionally, for students who don’t have iPhones, IDs could be offered in the form of QR codes or like an online ticket of sorts, or they could simply have the physical ID.

Although implementing digital IDs would require Baylor to invest in a completely new system for dorm entry, payment and entry to events, this investment would be well worth it for the benefit of students.

In addition to the ease it brings, digitization also provides more protections for identity security. Physical IDs are much easier to steal than digital ones, and the Apple security measures, including fingerprint and Face ID, provide more security for the digital IDs. Additionally, it is overall better for the environment. Where do those little plastic guys go when you lose them? Maybe they make their way down into the Brazos and into great water systems, and when you throw them away post-graduation, all they’re doing is adding the waste problem.

As our world is becoming increasingly digitalized, it is important to keep with the times and adopt new technologies. Digital student IDs would be a great addition to Baylor’s technology systems and would provide great benefits for students, security and environment.