Since 1999, the OneCard has been a part of everyday life at the Wilfrid Laurier University campus in Waterloo. From there, it was slowly integrated and developed to become everything a student needs from a building pass to a form of payment for meal plans.
At the Brantford campus, the OneCard experience has a lot to be built upon, says manager of OneCard operations, David Playfair.
“I think the Brantford campus is great. Full of charm and potential,” says Playfair. “I look at Brantford like a blank palette, ready to go.”
Starting in the 201314 school year, the OneCard system is going to go through an update.
According it Playfair, students can expect to be able to access food services though local businesses using their OneCard as soon as mid-September.
The new service will be run through a DCT system, similar to the one set up in Service Laurier.
“It’s the natural evolution of the Brantford campus,” says Playfair, noting that there is a lot of potential in Brantford with a student body of just over 3,000.
So far, five businesses have confirmed their participation in the program: William’s, Golden Grounds, Boston Pizza, Subway and the Brant Food Centre and Deli.
“It is what we can do right now while looking at a more permanent solution,” says Roly Webster, Executive Director of the Students’ Union.
According to Playfair, “This is a soft launch into an opportunity for food access specifically for students and faculty.”
The system will have no start up or maintenance fee and will generally reflect many of the same characteristics of a debit system.
Money can be loaded and used as “convenience dollars” which will never expire and can be used on both Brantford and Waterloo campuses.
According to Playfair, extra security measures are being added to the system to allow students to deactivate their cards in the case that they are lost or stolen.
“The system is completely voluntary,” says Dan Dawson, AVP, Student Services. But, according to Webster, the system could be mandatory by the 201415 school year.
The system will be improving and could include vending machines, integrations with the photocopiers and eventually a food plan.