The Chronicle’s View: Identification without representation is wrong

Upper campus (also known as the health sciences campus) is separated from the U by a road, train tracks and a golf course. At times, this separation causes policy makers on lower campus to ignore the unique circumstances of those on the “East Side.”

Recently, some students on upper campus complained that the UCard is not a convenient form of identification for them. Students have to display it around their necks or in some other visible manner while working in the hospital or any of the research buildings. This makes it difficult to use the UCard at the Field House or to pay for copies, printouts and newspapers.

These students are asking for a separate work identification card so they can use their UCards like everyone else (on lower campus).

This is by no means a hugely divisive (or unsolvable) issue. A solution should not be hard to find and if one is not found, inconvenience never killed anyone.

But a larger issue is at the root of this problem.

Upper campus is viewed and treated as a separate entity that is forced to comply with decisions made by administrators and ASUU officials on lower campus.

Excuse the hyperbolic simile, but upper campus is sometimes treated like a colony. It’s geographically detached from lower campus and it generates a lot of money for lower campus, yet upper campus students are expected to comply with policies made by lower campus without consideration for their needs.

Med students will probably not post grievances on trees and wear goofy costumes while dumping IV bags into the hospital water fountain, but more thought needs to be given to their unique circumstances and needs.

Health science students are some of the most underrepresented in the ASUU Assembly and Senate because they’re too busy making rounds in the hospital or studying in a lab to make it to meetings. Upper campus has been given its own library, TRAX stop, shuttle routes and will soon have their own bookstore; the students might as well have their own identification system.

If new ID tags are not issued, these health science students are hardly disenfranchised. All the same, they deserve all the conveniences students on lower campus receive.

If UCards aren’t meeting their needs, then something should be done to remedy that.