Widely accepted YU-card offers more benefits to students

The beginning of the new academic year will be significant in more ways than one for York University students. Starting this fall, York’s snazzy red and white identification card, known as the YU-card ("you-card"), will be the only student ID card at York.

Right: The YU-card

The new YU-cards are being issued to all new students. In addition current York students have embraced the card, says Anthony Barbisan, acting director of the YU-card program. Over 90 per cent have opted to receive the card since it was soft-launched last spring (see the March 5, 2007 issue of YFile).  "The YU-card is the one card students will need during their time at York University. It is York’s official photo ID and campus debit card," says Barbisan. "For York students, the YU-card is their key to services such as the library, recreation facilities, exams, eating, meal plans, shopping, events, student discounts and more."

Since its launch, the YU-card has proven to be more secure and offer many more benefits for students and their families, says Barbisan. The card features a photograph of the student, a student number and a magnetic information stripe. "It is a library card, provides access to recreational facilities, carries meal plan privileges, a Flex account and convenience cash, and students can now use the card in the York University Bookstore," says Barbisan. A complete list of how and where the card can be used is on the YU-card Web site, and Barbisan says the list of retailers and services accepting the card continues to expand.

For students and their families, the YU-card also offers peace of mind. "It offers the convenience of not having to carry cash or change, and there are no automated bank machine fees, interest charges or overdraft fees," says Barbisan. "A lost card can be immediately frozen by simply logging onto the YU-card Web site and replacement cards are just $20. For international students, or those who come to York University from other parts of Canada, the card offers their families some extra peace of mind.

"It used to be that if a student needed extra cash to extend their meal plan, their parents had to send a cheque, which then had to be processed and sometimes there were delays and students were left temporarily short of cash. Now parents can top up their child’s cards simply by going on the YU-card Web site and using a credit card to load funds onto the card," explains Barbisan. "For students whose families are in other countries, this is a big convenience factor. We have had families from as far away as India or China put funds on the card and the deposit is instantaneous and the funds are immediately accessible by the student."

Left: A detailed view of York’s official student ID card

To mark the full roll-out of the YU-card, the University is holding a promotion. Students or their families who add a minimum of $250 onto the Flex account of their YU-card by Sept. 30 will be automatically entered to win money on their card. First prize is $1,000 added onto the card, second prize is $500 onto the card and third prize is $250 added onto the card. The draw will be held Oct. 1, 2007. Complete contest rules and regulations are available on the YU-card Web site or by clicking here. The contest is open to students enrolled at York’s Keele and Glendon campuses.

"Students or their families can add funds online at the YU-card Web site with a credit card or, in person, at the YU-card office located at 200 William Small Centre," says Barbisan.

To obtain a YU-card, visit the YU-card office or drop by the RED Zone located in the Complex 1 Computer Lounge (room 034 Founders College). The RED Zone is open to serve students Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm until Aug. 17.

For more on the YU-card, visit the YU-card Web site.