Mississippi College

New Student IDs Guard Against Identity Theft

August 1, 2007

Mississippi College is doing its part to fight one of America's fastest-growing crimes - identity theft.

Starting Aug. 13, all new MC identification cards issued to faculty, staff and students without using social security numbers. They will be issued new cards with a nine-digit number starting with 700.

MC is acting after President Lee Royce received a letter from the Social Security Administration encouraging educational institutions to avoid using Social Security numbers as the primary identifier.

Many schools across the state and nation are taking steps to phase out social security numbers.

"Identification theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in our country and state affecting many citizens and businesses,'' Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement on his agency's web site.

The new MC cards will permit access to buildings, handle library transactions and rack up meal points for students using Sodexho services in the campus cafeteria.

It's not time to toss out the old cards just yet. Faculty and staff should hold onto the old cards for now. MC has more than 450 employees and over 4,000 students.

To obtain a new card, students will be required to show a state or government-issued picture ID card such as a driver's license, passport or military ID and present a Fall 2007 student schedule from Banner Web. Students will also be able to use the cards for such things as chapel attendance credit and bookstore charges.

Faculty and staff will need to furnish a picture identification to obtain the new ID cards.

Barry Bounds, MC's director of computer services who is co-chairing a campus ID committee, is encouraging students, faculty and staff to be patient as MC transitions to a new card. "I believe the improved security will be worth it in the long run."

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