Photo by Sam Churchill, via flickr
On May 22, an opinion piece titled “International students unacknowledged in GL’s new requirement” discussed how international students are affected negatively by the recently introduced Green Library policy of requiring two forms of identification when checking out devices. Such devices include laptops, iPads, e-readers, and any other computer accessories and components available for students to borrow.
The article states the two-identification policy was implemented due to a rash of thefts of devices using stolen Panther IDs. The article goes on to signal a discontent among international students because the only identification available to international students, besides their PIDs, is their passport; and carrying passports around campus on a daily basis is a burden.
Indeed, imposing a second state-issued ID for all students seems like a particular burden to international students. Yet, this burden has ways to be resolved.
Specifically, all international students are eligible to receive a state-issued ID. Students can simply go to a local driver’s license office, along with his or her passport, I-20, and other state-required documents. Any student, international or domestic, can then apply and receive a state-issued ID, which is very similar to what a driver’s license looks like.
Students can also visit gathergoget.com to verify documentation needed to obtain the state-issued ID, and even schedule an appointment; there is a Drivers License Services Center right across MMC.
The benefits of securing the devices available for all students in GL against theft completely outweigh any burden from the process of applying for a state-issued ID. There are even many other benefits international students will gain from obtaining a state-issued ID.
For example, a state-issued ID is useful not only in the University setting, but beyond: students could use their state-issued ID to open a bank account, as an ID when paying with a credit or debit card at a store, when attending age-restricted events, and a vast range of other possible situations in which the state-issued ID will be handy.
Finally, I do want to raise the issue of a particular group of students that will be possibly detrimentally affected by the new library policy: undocumented students.
In Florida, an individual may NOT request a state-issued ID or driver’s license if he or she does not have documents of residence, etc. Only U.S citizens, legal residents, international students and such others with official, unexpired documents are eligible to apply for a state-issued ID or driver’s license.
As a result, undocumented students may not be able to enjoy the library benefits that other students do enjoy; this is a sad consequence in the long list of practices that adversely affect undocumented students.
The question now is whether undocumented students are being unacknowledged in our University.
– Nikols Mendoza-Colmenares, FIU Alumnus; Political Science Department & Honors College, 2011. He currently studies law at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota.