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Assessing the University’s ID Policy

Last year, a new ID policy was implemented at the start of the special term, which required all students, teachers, administrators, and staff to wear their DLSU ID cards visibly at all times on campus. The policy was implemented as a measure to improve security within the institution. Initially, however, the policy was met with opposition from various sectors of the University.

As of press time, the policy has been in force for almost the entirety of academic year 2015-2016.

Necessity and effectiveness of the policy

Last year’s new ID policy initially came across obstacles within the academic community. The Student Discipline Formation Office (SDFO) and the University Security Office are the primary offices in charge of implementing the said ID policy in the University.

SDFO Discipline Section Enforcement Head Ronald Encabo explains that the frequency of left and/or lost IDs initially increased during the first few weeks of the policy’s implementation, especially since older students had become used to keeping their IDs inside their bags and wallets, only to tap the card onto scanners upon entry. Another reason for the increase in number of cases is that a large number of students would rather incur an offense rather than miss out on their classes, Encabo adds.

According to Encabo, the SDFO discipline officers and security personnel on campus would call out any person not visibly wearing their ID. Although the ID must be fully visible at all times, it does not necessarily have to be worn on an ID lace, he clarifies.

When a student is called out for not wearing their ID, the name of this person is then recorded, so that multiple instances may be taken note of. Upon the third instance that a security guard catches a person without their ID, a minor offense is incurred. The policy is strictly implemented on campus with a few exceptions, such as the Enrique Razon Sports Complex, where physical education classes are held.

Encabo also notes that students with defaced IDs are also called out, even for minor defacements. Encabo explains that covering ID photos with stickers, other photos, and other paraphernalia is not allowed.

Difference for students, outsiders

Safety Office Director and Security Office Officer-in-Charge Dr. Jocelyn Dayanan describes the differences of the policy for students and outsiders. Students, teachers, or other staff not seen wearing their IDs visibly are generally reminded by security personnel to wear their IDs. Dr. Dayanan clarifies that the SDFO, not Security Office, has the capacity to hand out offenses.

If a person on campus is unable to show their ID, they are reported to the SDFO, adds Dr. Dayanan. If the person reported is a student, appropriate offenses or penalties are to be given pursuant to the student handbook. If the person reported is an outsider, the Security Office handles the situation.

Dr. Dayanan also reiterates that people who wear Campus Passes or temporary passes must wear them visibly at all times. Any outsider who does not have a campus pass and is caught without an ID will be dealt with by the security upon apprehension.

In the case of lost IDs

In some cases, lost IDs find their way back to their owners through social media. A trend on social media with people posting the image of the ID and trying to get the attention of the owner.

As The LaSallian previously reported, such cases of lost IDs should be turned over to the Lost and Found section of the SDFO. Encabo reiterates that the proper lost and found policy must always be observed by students. Moreover, Encabo stresses that the failure to surrender lost items, including IDs, to the SDFO may merit the major offense of unjust enrichment. He adds that following proper protocol helps avoid privacy issues and prevent cases where others may take advantage of the lost item.

Analysis of data on students

One purpose of the ID policy is to ensure that students would be less prone to leave their IDs at home or losing them in or out of campus. Leaving and losing an ID may incur a minor offense depending on how many times it is incurred by the student.

According to the latest version of the student handbook, students who lose their ID for the third time shall be charged with a fine equivalent to the ID cost and shall be required to attend the SDFO on Restructuring and Managing the Self (FORMS) Program. Students who lose their ID for a fourth time must render service to their academic department in addition to paying the fine. The fifth and succeeding losses of an ID shall be considered a minor offense. Meanwhile, for students who leave their ID for three days in one academic year shall incur a minor offense and be subject to render four hours of service to their academic department.

In cases where students have left ID violations that do not reach three instances within the same academic year, students may still incur a minor offense. As the handbook explains, “Another minor offense is incurred when a student commits sixth, eight, tenth (and so on) left ID violations during his/her entire stay in the University that did not ripen to a minor offense in one particular academic year.” Three minor offenses of the same nature result in a major offense.

According to annual report data provided by the SDFO, there have been a total of 2,776 cases of left ID offenses and 33 cases of lost ID offenses for the period of 2012-2016. For the current academic year 2015-2016, 1,126 cases of left ID offenses and 11 lost ID offenses were recorded from August 24, 2015 to May 31, 2016. This leaves a total of 1,650 left ID offences and 22 lost ID offences from 2012-2015. On average, the numbers reflect 550 left ID offences per academic year and 7.3 lost ID offences per academic year. As of press time, the year-by-year breakdown of the offences since 2012 has not yet been made available.

Students have differing opinions on the ID policy. Some have expressed approval of the policy, explaining that the mandatory wearing of the ID has instilled discipline in students and improved security on campus. For Albert Lorenz Dizon (V, CS-ST), the new policy introduces an easier and faster way to identify school personnel. Moreover, he notes that the new policy improves the discipline and decorum of students.

However, some others like Juan Carlos Barcelón (III, ISE-APC) believe that the ID policy has not proven to change anything anything regarding the behavior of students in terms of leaving or losing the ID. Since the implementation of the new policy, Barcelón shares that he has only left his ID once. “For me, leaving or losing an ID is not a matter of wearing it, rather it is more of a matter regarding the responsibility of the student,” he comments.

Meanwhile, William Aboy (I, CS-ST), who reports he has lost and left his ID a considerable number of times, has mixed thoughts regarding the ID policy. He favors the policy as it helps identify students from outsiders. However, he shares it hasn’t helped him to not lose or leave his ID.

Like Aboy, Geremiah Macalino (I, BSE-BIO) believes the policy hasn’t helped improve security campus, especially in light of the recent incident at the Yuchengco Hall, which involved a masked assailant still to be identified and apprehended by the administration. Although this is the case, he believes that the ID policy is still necessary, and remains optimistic that the said policy can be improved to further increase security on campus.

By Blaise Cruz

By Josemaria Rustia

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