Bearcard Crack-down

The MSU Spokesman

BearcardWith a Bearcard you can use the dining halls, get into the dormitories, go to sports events for free, work out in the gym and use the library.

“If you live on campus, basically you can’t eat or sleep without your Bearcard,” said Malik Thomas, an 18-year-old freshman sports management major. “Before I leave out to go anywhere, my Bearcard is like the first thing I check for. It is definitely a necessity around here.”

If you lose the card, you are out of luck; and because of the importance of that card, students find themselves concocting stories to explain how they lost their cards.

Residence hall officials are no strangers to the creative, odd and rather foolish stories that students come up with when they misplace their Bearcards.

“I have honestly heard it all — some stories are actually believable, while others make them look foolish. It’s mainly the guys that have all these reasons why they don’t have their cards. Girls are usually more honest and straight forward,” said Jazmine Garling, a 20-year-old junior and a residence assistant in Blount Towers.

Morgan switched from the regular identification cards to the Bear Necessity Card, as it is formally known, at the start of the 2012 school year after teaming up with PNC Bank. The partnership allows students who have a PNC bank account to use the Bearcard as a bank card as well.

Cards are issued at the time of enrollment at no charge, but it costs $25 to replace lost cards. This does not sit well with some students who fabricate stories to get a replacement Bearcard for free.

“One guy insisted that he turned in his damaged Bearcard to us to get it replaced earlier in the week, and he was returning a couple days later to pick it up. He said he didn’t remember the person who assisted him, not knowing that I was working Monday through Friday the week that he said he came and that we replace cards on the spot,” Stephen Hatcher, a Bear Necessity Card Center employee in the Montebello complex, explained in an interview.

Some students go as far as filing false police reports, hoping that this will do the trick.

“We had an individual come into our office and say he was robbed by the Engineering Building while he was out jogging,” Adrian Wiggins, executive director of the Office of Campus and Public Safety told students during a briefing in October. “He eventually admitted that he was not telling the truth because he needed a new Bearcard and the Bearcard office told him it would be $25 to replace the card, and he didn’t want to pay the money.”

University officials are becoming aware of what is going on.

“We are going to start cracking down on students who come into our center with an excuse for why they need a new Bearcard,” said Hatcher at the Bearcard Necessity Center. “Usually we let some situations slide because we can’t determine what is true and what’s not. We often give students the benefit of the doubt, but now it’s starting to become a trend.”

Students beware: You might want to keep a spare $25 stashed away.