Temple welcomed students back for the fall semester with new, redesigned Owl Cards, distributed by the Diamond Dollars Office during the first two weeks of school.
The deadline to pick up the cards was set for yesterday, Sept. 10, though many students chose to retrieve their cards on the first day of classes, Aug. 27. Students crowded the second floor of the Student Center where the cards were being distributed.
Scott Brannan, director of the Diamond Dollars Office, said he felt bad for the students who chose to brave the long lines and encouraged them to come later when he expected the wait to be shorter.
“I don’t know why some students insisted on standing in line,” Brannan said. “We thought the message was received that students had until Sept. 10 to get them.”
Brannan said the distribution of the new cards went smoothly in the days afterward as the stream of students thinned. Brannan said he expected almost all students to receive their cards on time and without hassle.
The Diamond Dollars Office saw the second floor Student Center as the ideal location on Main Campus for the distribution of the Owl Cards.
“The lines on the first day of distribution would not have been contained better at any other location,” Brannan said. “I’m glad we secured the Student Center. It’s a really good place as it is the center for a lot of activity. We can pull students in from eating, from the bookstore and other activities. It just makes it easier for everyone.”
The new cards activated on all of Temple’s campuses yesterday. Places like the TECH Center, bookstore and cafeteria no longer accept the old cards.
“Students who failed to pick up their cards by Sept. 10 will find that [their old ones won’t] work,” Brannan said. “The Student Center will not be available to pick up cards after that date. Those students will have to go straight to the Diamond Dollars Office.”
The Diamond Dollar Office has had minimal complaints from students, and the changeover has gotten mostly positive feedback, especially on the office’s Facebook page, Brannan said.
Brannan said many students were eager to receive the new cards, and the initial long lines on the first day did not give rise to any significant problems.
Taylor Caputo and Colleen Costigan, both senior metals and jewelry majors, agreed that the Diamond Dollars Office did a good job in distributing the new cards.
“They had flexible hours,” Caputo said. “We went in the evening when no one was there.”
Costigan was also satisfied, but added that she didn’t think the office did a good job informing students about all of the new cards’ purposes.
“I heard the card had an expiration date for voting, but they didn’t tell us that,” Costigan said.
The university plans to install new card readers to make using the Owl Cards for access to some buildings and services quicker.
Joe Gilbride can re reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.