One of the most important first steps for students when they first come for orientation at the University of Utah is to get their UCard. The UCard is the U’s campus ID. New students are told it is one of the most important cards on campus and that they need to have it on their person at all times. This is not without a good reason — students who live at the U need their UCard to get into their dorms or apartments and to get food on campus. But outside of those basic tasks, what else can students at the U do with their campus ID?
Senior systems administrator Ron Wells said that the UCard is used at the university under “three major modules” — retail services, security access and event attendance. In regards to retail services, Wells said that students “can buy books, food, drinks in the vending machines.” Wells also said that students can gain access to “dorms and student labs.” Administrating manager of UCard services Ryan Fletcher said the University sees the UCard as a “standardized source for identification,” and furthermore, a student’s bus pass. “It is used for door access, printing, debit meal planning and taking tests,” he said.
The UCard is not just for undergraduate students. “In upper campus at the hospital we put fingerprints on cards for really secure areas. The hospital also uses it for a lot of their medical machines and to distribute medication,” Fletcher explained. Overall, Fletcher described the UCard as “far-reaching.”
Students are also told at orientation that their UCard gets them free rides on TRAX and how it works. “We get a fee from student enrollment through campus solutions, so if you are an active student we sent that information out to UTA,” Fletcher said. UTA pairs this information with the UCard, allowing students to tap on and off the bus, TRAX and FrontRunner.
College students are almost always on the lookout for discounts. While not officially affiliated with the U, many locations offer student discounts with a variety of student IDs.
“We don’t really have relationships with off-campus vendors, but there are a lot of off-campus vendors that do offer discounts,” Fletcher said. There are still many stores and restaurants that offer discounts to college students, including Red Robin, the Apple Store, Costa Vida and Tucano’s Brazilian Grill. These discounts do not apply to every location of these outlets, but only specific locations, usually in Salt Lake City. Students hoping to find stores that offer UCard discounts can find many options at the front of the 2019-2020 ASUU planner.
For more information on the benefits of a University of Utah UCard, visit this website.