RMU to release updated student IDs with contactless features, name changes

The new "RMU ID" will allow students to change from swipes to taps.

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Michael Sciulli

A sign at the entrance of RoMo's Cafe. Photo Credit: (RMU Sentry Media/Michael Sciulli)

Garret Roberts, Editor in Chief

MOON TOWNSHIP —  While Robert Morris University continues to finalize their plans to protect students from the spread of COVID-19 this fall, an update to student IDs will make access easier and safer.

RMU has announced their plans to update students’ access cards to the new RMU ID, which will allow students to access more information about their meal plans and make contactless entry around campus easier. 

The new smart cards will use RFID technology to enable contactless purchases and entry to buildings, which will be an essential part of COVID-19 prevention on campus during the fall semester. The updated cards will also allow students access to food and groceries without direct contact. 

“In the newly remodeled PNC Colonial Cafe, students can ‘tap and go’ with the All Access Meal Plan, Dining Dollars, and Colonial Cash,” said Jonathan Potts, Vice President of Public Relations for RMU. “In the newly remodeled RoMo’s Cafe, students will be able to order via kiosk and tap for payment with their RMU ID. Other dining locations will also have the tap and go function for easy exit.”

Other features coming to RMU ID cards will include: 

  • Online photo submission for current students, freshmen and transfer students. 
  • Management of account balances, which will allow students or parents to add funds to cards.
  • Tracking of recent transactions.
  • Data encryption for improved security.
  • Forms to report a card as lost or found.

The former title of “Freedom Card” will also be changed to RMU ID to clarify the card’s use around campus and beyond. While concerned students had raised criticisms over the language on Freedom Cards, the name change had already been a point of discussion at the campus. 

“We had already been in the process of redesigning and renaming the Freedom Card, in order to make the card more easily identifiable and to more clearly convey its purpose, when we became aware of the petition,” said Potts. “Since we had already decided to change the name, we thought it appropriate to notify the students for whom the name was a concern.”

The process of updating and distributing new cards will begin when students arrive in August for the Fall 2020 semester.