By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
More than 800 students were inadvertently removed from the ID card system last week, denying them from using meal plans and accessing buildings and computer labs.
Officials from the CS Gold card system’s parent company, Diebold, are working to find the problem and prevent it from happening again, said Eric Wallace, system programmer.
On Thursday at about 4:30 p.m., Wallace said he discovered that 711 students had been deleted from the system and then immediately reloaded with a different patron identification number (PID), making the cards ineffective.
“What happened was they (students) were deleted and immediately reloaded, and there’s no process that Diebold has to do that,” Wallace said. “My concern is that this never happens again, and they don’t want it to happen either.”
Diebold officials said extra white space at the ends of the lines of imported data caused the system to be unable to read the information, so it assumed it was a mistake and deleted it.
As the technology department worked to restore the original PIDs to the cards, which would reinstate all the current student information to them and make them functional again, Wallace said 128 more students were discovered who had been deleted.
“I know to the people that were affected that it was a big hardship, and I’m sorry for that,” Wallace said.
To help alleviate the problem, Wallace said temporary cards were created for the residence halls and computer labs to use during the weekend so that students could still access them.
Kristy Strickland from technology support said a few students called with questions or complaints, but the response was not overwhelming, and all the cards should be working again.
The university switched during the Christmas break from the old ICAM card system, which had been used for more than 10 years, to the CS Gold system. Wallace said the new system is more robust and can be expanded more easily for future needs, and it uses students’ Banner ID numbers instead of Social Security numbers.
“All in all, there have been some problems, but not as severe as could have been,” Wallace said. “We’ve were able to do a lot of things in the conversion that helped the campus, and of course, any time you have a changeover there’s going to be things that slip through the cracks.”