KTRU Tuesdays: Photo ID Cards

This week all of the new students will be taking pictures for their new ID cards, which will give them access to their colleges, food at the serveries, labs, and can even hold Tetra points which can be used to purchase food elsewhere on campus. The college ID has become an important part of the college experience.

In the fall of 1980, the administration replaced the old ID card, which sadly we don’t have an example of, with one containing a photograph. Here’s Debbie Gronke’s news story on this major change, which features then Campus Police/RUPD Assistant Chief Mary Voswinkel.

UPDATE: This comment comes from an “anonymous reader.” We thank that person for the information.

“All students were issued a “blanket tax” student i.d. card in fall of 1966 and it contained a photo of the student. It was a cardboard card laminated with plastic on both sides. It had numbers or dots around the top and lower margins which were punched with a hand-held hole-punch when the student entered a football game or voted in a student election, or whatever. Some events had no designated dot to punch and so simply displaying the card was all that was required. Photos were black and white and about the size of one’s thumbnail.

In about 1969 or 1970, that form of identification card was replaced with a white i.d. card of plastic about the size, shape and consistency of a credit card (pre-metallic data strip era). It had a raised student identity number and letters spelling out the student’s last name and first 2 initials. It also had a color photo. It was simply displayed to permit entry. (I do not recall it being run through a ticket embosser like old credit cards to print the raised number and name onto a ticket, although it was obviously designed for that.).

One peculiarity at first: if a student missed the photo session, sometimes a card was issued without a photo and then a new card with a photo was issued later. But the administration failed to require the photo-less cards to be turned back in and soon they had substantial black-market value as they could be used to admit non-Rice students of either sex (since displayed initials only, not a name) to college commons meal lines or football games.

If I remember correctly, in the 1970 Campanile Year Box, there is a page in one of the booklets with copies of the identification card mugshots of many seniors from their 1966 freshman i.d. cards.”

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