Along with a newly renovated Moody Coliseum, ID card scanners are now an essential part of students’ Chapel experience.
Growing concern among the student body about receiving Chapel credit through these new scanners has caused an influx of questions and emails directed towards the Office of Spiritual Life. The question in the forefront of many students’ minds is when they should scan in and out of Chapel, being that Chapel can sometimes go late or let out early.
Makayla Kerrigan, spiritual formation coordinator, said students should be arriving to Chapel a a few minutes early, just to be safe.
“We’re asking students to scan in after they get to Moody, preferably around 10:30 a.m,” Kerrigan said. “The card readers are live for that whole hour. We write down what time the chapel is dismissed, so anyone who scans out before a Chapel ends won’t get a credit that day.”
Within the guidelines of this new system, some students are experiencing technological complications. The most common student problems include: the scanner is not reading their ID, they forgot their ID or they scanned in but did not receive credit.
“We have a QR code at our Hospitality Table for when you forget your ID or you don’t have a new ID, so that we can give you credit for that day,” Kerrigan said. “It’s meant to serve students when they don’t know what’s going on, they have questions, or they’re having trouble with their ID.”
The ID scanners generate a report of everyone who scanned in for Chapel. Kerrigan said that by around 2 p.m. on Moody Chapel days, students should see their credit reflected in Compass. If not, that is the point at which students should reach out to the Office of Spiritual Life.
“Our office is always open, our emails are always open,” Kerrigan said. “I hope students feel like they can come and talk to us if something is going on, whether it’s something small like ‘hey I was a little late’ or like ‘hey this is going on in my life and attending Chapel is really hard.’ I just always want students to know that that’s what our office does too. We are the chaplain’s office on top of everything else.”
Some students with new ID cards are nonetheless not seeing their chapel attendance reflected on their Compass dashboard. Cyrus Eaton, dean of spiritual life and campus chaplain, and the Office of Spiritual Life have been working with IT to figure out why.
“There’s a possibility that if you’re presenting your card through your wallet, or even within your phone, those are potential interferences with the technology, so it may not register your card,” Eaton said. “Or if you present your card at the scanner too quickly. After having tested them with our IT department, it should go from purple to green to possibly blue. If you don’t hold your card there until you see purple and green, it likely didn’t register. If you don’t see the purple and green, come see us at the hospitality table and we can take your information and relay it to IT.”
Many times, when an office of high authority releases new rules or etiquette surrounding required events, students express valid points of contention and frustration. The Office of Spiritual Life recognizes this, especially when it comes to arriving late to chapel or leaving early. Eaton shared the reasoning behind these guidelines.
“At the foundational level, if there’s one word, it’s about hospitality. If students are leaving before the speaker is done, that’s not the culture or the climate we want to create for visitors or even speakers who have come to visit us and speak to our community,” Eaton said.
Even with the complications, chapel is slowly returning to its former, pre-COVID status, thanks to the help of students and staff.
“I think that students have been really gracious and understanding with helping us navigate all of the changes we’ve had with technology and space in the last two years,” Eaton said. “I’m glad to be a part of this community; we’ve come a long way.”