CatCards have new design, new technology


New CatCards are being issued to students and faculty this year with a new design and technology.


The CatCards are different in both appearance and function. Instead of an image of Billings Library on the card, it is now the Davis Center.


Part of the reason for the new design was to give the card a fresh look, but to also include newer technology, Mark McKenna, director of the CatCard  center, said.


This is the first time in years that the CatCard has been redesigned.  


“This will be the third ID in 20 years,” McKenna said,  “so it’s been about 10 years since our last re-carding on campus.”


“The new CatCards have a chip inside them, making them contactless cards,” he said.

“Similar to a credit card, the IDs have a gold chip, but instead of it being on the outside of the card, it is embedded.”


Throughout the semester many of the digital card readers will be converted to contactless readers, McKenna said.


The new card has dual technology, allowing it to work with both current readers  and new ones, which will begin to be installed in mid-September.


“The doors will be the first thing to change,” McKenna said. “Administrative buildings and academic buildings will be the first to have the contactless readers on them.”


The CatCard Center was previously located in the Davis Center, but is now in Billings Student Center.


The location change was a concern for upperclassmen because they were familiar with the Davis Center location, McKenna said.


Junior Madison Kennedy said she has not gotten a new CatCard yet due to both time conflicts and the new location of the center.


“I just haven’t had the time and I don’t like that the new CatCard center is in Billings,” Kennedy said.


Other students said they have no need to get a new CatCard because theirs are still in good condition.


“I’m not going to get [a new] one because mine is perfectly fine,” junior Lindsay Sweet said.


Junior Andy Crocker also said his CatCard is still functioning even in his third year.

“My old CatCard is kind of cool, and I want to keep it for four years,” he said,  “It’s chipped, but it still swipes.”


The first new CatCards received by students and faculty  are free, even if the old Billings card had been lost, but the cost of replacing the new one is $25, McKenna said.


The old cards will be deactivated at the end of the semester.


“We do strongly encourage people to get in here as soon as possible to get their new cards ,because the old ones at the end of the semester will definitely be deactivated,” McKenna said.


“And as time goes on, the inconvenience factor may increase throughout the semester.”