The Chronicle’s View: UCard needs to stand up for students

It is not a simple task to make the UCard ubiquitous on and off campus.

In order to increase student usage of the UCard, it has to be convenient and easily accessible for students and businesses-something the UCard committee has failed to achieve as of yet.

On July 1, an online depositing system was supposed to be available to students; five months later, the service is still unavailable and has the potential to never happen.

Like New York University and Pittsburgh University, the U’s UCard committee contracted Blackboard Inc. to set up the system. And, like with the U, the online deposit system is still unavailable for use on all of those campuses.

Reasons cited by Blackboard Inc. include interface and user data problems.

Blackboard Inc. has led the UCard committee around, according to Eric Hu, the UCard director.

While the current situation is frustrating for Hu and other committee members, the responsibility lies on their shoulders to find an answer to the problems presented to them by Blackboard Inc.

Students don’t care why the online deposit system is not working. They just want the UCard to be more convenient for them.

By not taking initiative to solve the online depositing system problem and continually pushing back the system launching date, the UCard committee loses credibility to businesses and students.

The committee needs to stop being pushed around by Blackboard and find a solution that will serve students.

One of the major hurdles of launching a successful UCard program is getting businesses on board with the idea. The UCard offers few perks to businesses that join the program, and rather expect business owners to pay $700 in equipment and fees just to sign on as a UCard business.

The incentive for businesses to join further dwindles when the UCard program remains stagnant on campus.

ASUU administration can be applauded for campaign promises that they have followed through with, but so far, the UCard program has fallen short of student expectations.