Increase in NIU OneCard replacement fee frustrates students

By Jermaine Pigee

DeKALB | Some NIU students are expressing their dismay for the recent price increase of the NIU OneCard from $15 to $20.

“I think the price should be whatever it costs to make the card plus whatever it costs to hire a desperate, unemployed computer science student to change the code in the computer,” said Alice Stoicescu, a senior electrical engineering major.

“They claim the price comes from the fact that they must change the number but I know some lawyers who don’t make $20 every 2 minutes. The argument is kind of null, Stoicescu said.”

To obtain or replace a OneCard, students must go to the OneCard office on the ground floor of the Holmes Student Center.

If students have never obtained a OneCard, the first card is free.

Otherwise, students can pay for the card by cash, check or by charging it to their bursar’s account.

“I was never thrilled about the price to begin with. I was mad at myself because I constantly lost the OneCard and had to pay to get it replaced,” said senior English major Carolyn Storer. “I know it is meant to be a punishment, but it is just a piece of plastic. Other pieces of plastic, like my [driver’s] license, are more valuable. It only costs five dollars to replace that. I think five dollars would be a fair price.”

“You would still be getting ‘punished’ for losing it, and NIU would still make money off of your forgetfulness.”

Kinga Mauger of the NIU Bursar’s Office said the raise in the OneCard price helps make the card.

“This charge is related to the increased costs of producing new cards,” Mauger said.

“This increase became effective in July. Last spring semester [prior to the increase going into effect] notices of the pending increase were posted on our Web site and at the OneCard office.”

Mauger also said there hasn’t been an increase in more than 10 years.

“The fee has not previously been increased since the inception of the OneCard program in 1996, Mauger said.”