University police reports six stolen NIU OneCards

By Faith Healy

The NIU Police Department blotter reported six stolen OneCards with unauthorized purchases made since the beginning of the semester.

This number only includes cards reported missing, said NIU Sgt. Alan Smith, but many OneCards end up stolen or lost.

Smith said the chances of finding a lost card are high, however.

“A lot of people are honest,” Smith said. “We do get a lot of found OneCards.”

Students who lose their cards can go to the OneCard office in the Holmes Student Center or the NIU Police Department to see if it has been returned. Smith recommends students to suspend their card until it’s found, which students can do via Blackboard.

Students who have their TCF banking privileges attached to their OneCard must contact TCF Bank in order to suspend those privileges.

University police take reports of missing OneCards, but Smith said it is the most they can do unless there are unauthorized charges reported.

“Typically, we do not track stolen OneCards because most are taken when students accidentally leave them in places, and the cards are usually canceled and a new one issued,” Smith said. “If they are lost, we can take down their information in case someone turns them in to us.”

Students caught using a stolen OneCard can face one of four consequences, Smith said. These consequences include an arrest and theft charge, referral to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct, a verbal warning or a requirement to repay the fraudulent charged.

Even in the case of a verbal warning, the university police still will refer the student to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct, Smith said.

Regardless of whether a OneCard is stolen or missing, a replacement costs $20.

Senior finance major Chris Graeber said he thinks that price is too high.

“I don’t think it would cost a lot to print out a new card,” Graeber said. “I can get a driver’s license for $5; it seems a bit much.”

Students who live in residence halls have another option, however; they can obtain a temporary card for Housing and Dining, which allows a student access to his or her Huskie Bucks, meal plan and door access.

As long as a student returns his or her temporary card before activating a new card or reactivating an old one, there’s no charge. Otherwise, the cards cost $10.

Accounting graduate student Pamela Pauw said she has never lost her OneCard.

“I just put it in a small pouch in my bag,” Pauw said. “I always make sure I have it on me.”