International students unacknowledged in GL’s new requirement

Photo by Eduardo Merille via flickr 


Shannon Copeland/Contributing Writer

I recently went to the library to check out a laptop, but upon approaching the circulation desk, I was greeted by a notice sign.

It read: “As of May 13, 2013, the Library will require two forms of identification for the checkout of laptops, iPads and e-readers: A valid Panther ID Card and State Issued ID Card. No exceptions.”

As I am a curious patron of the Green Library, I asked why such a change was implemented.

“There were a rash of thefts of electronic equipments, where students would use a lost ID to check out a laptop or iPad,” said Jude Cobham, circulation manager at the Green Library.

I began to understand why this change was necessary, but I had two main thoughts after I saw the notice: I’m an International student and I only have a passport and Panther ID as my forms of identification.

I asked Cobham whose idea it was to implement such a rule and he informed me that Public Safety suggested this drastic change.

“We check the picture on the IDs, however, certain people look like certain people and mistakes can happen,” said Cobham.

I am not pleased with this new rule because I would not like to walk around with my passport everyday, although I happen to be working on getting my license.

Ami Nakagawa, senior International Business major and International student, agrees that carrying one’s passport around campus is not a good idea.

“I think it’s not safe to walk around with your passport, as it [is] not safe to carry your social security,” said Nakagawa.

Sheni Kathymoon, senior Advertising major, thinks the new requirement has some potential.

“Two IDs will be effective if the library keeps the IDs with them until the equipment is returned, [but] not everyone walks around with two IDs,” said Kathymoon.

My concern is more for new International students who plan on checking out electronics from the library. What will they do when their only forms of identification are their PIDs and their passports?

And what system does FIU have in place for a person who loses his or her PID, which in turn is used by someone else to commit an offense?

To address this problem, I think GL should have access to student profiles, so when a student wants to check out a device, he or she gives their PID to the receptionist. The receptionist is then able to check the picture before giving a device.

The library could also set up a system where they send a reminder email to the patrons who have checked out any electronics, which can possibly notify students if their PIDs are being falsely used.

My favorite place to be is in the library, which I believe many students might feel the same way as well, so it is my desire to see everything up and running without any glitches. The library is there to serve, so I hope all students will be able to have an enjoyable experience by doing their part, thus, allowing the library to do the same. I implore those of you who have found a PID to please return them to the GL to prevent any further misunderstandings, as we all need to use the services of the library. 

2 Comments on "International students unacknowledged in GL’s new requirement"

  1. Indeed, imposing a second state-issued identification for all students, is a particular hinderance to International Students. However, this hinderance, is manageable for International Students. All international Students are eligible to receive a State-Issued Identification Card. All a students has to do, is go to a local driver license office, along with his or her passport, I-20, and other state-required documents. The student can then apply and receive a state-issued Identification Card, which is very similar to what a drivers license looks like. Therefore, the benefits in securing the community of students at large, and the benefits to International Students completely outweigh any hinderance from the process of applying for a state-isued identification. There are many benefits International Students will gain from a State-Issues identification, as the ID is useful not only in FIU’s setting, but also beyond, from Opening a bank account, to having an accepted official identificaton.

    In particular, there is a Driver’s License office right accrues from Main Campus. Here is a link to the State of Florida’s website where an International Student may verify documentation needed for State-Isued Identification card, and schedule an appointment:

    Finally, I do want to raise the issue of a particular group of students that will be detrimentally affected by the library policy: undocumented students. As we are all aware, an individual may NOT request a State-Issued Identification-Card or Drivers License if he or she does not have documents of residence, etc. Only US Citizens, Residents, International Students and such others with official, unexpired documents are eligible to apply for the ID/License. It is a sad consequence to the long list of discriminatory practices that adversely affect undocumented students.

    • Sarang Yojah | June 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM | Reply

      I understand your point. But I dont think the library is trying to under-mind undocumented students.

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