You’ve got a USF ID Card, but do you know about all the bonuses that come with it?
The USF Card has multiple benefits for USF students. It can be used for many purposes both on and off campus, but few students take the time to either go online or get information from USF Card Services. If and when they do, however, they will find that it’s well worth their time in terms of saving money.Unfortunately, many students are not aware of the multiple benefits the USF Card provides.
“I didn’t even know what discounts we could get,” Jennifer ColÃ³n, a third-year nursing major, said. So, what exactly can your USF Card do? “The USF Card can be used for pretty much everything,” Libby Hopkins, the USF Card Center supervisor, said. According to Hopkins, the USF Card is useful in nearly every aspect of student life.
It can be used as an ATM Card for students who become members of the USF Federal Credit Union. Students just need to maintain a savings and checking account in order to make use of this feature. Students who want to activate their USF Card’s ATM feature may do so at the USF Federal Credit Union on campus or at the USF Card Center.
The Card can also be used as a free calling card. All students have to do is to designate a PIN number to access this feature. Instructions for using this feature are carried on the back of each USF ID Card.
The USF ID Card could be a plus for students making purchases at the USF Bookstore as well. With their ID cards, students can have the cost of purchases automatically deducted from their financial aid funds. This feature is available to students with financial aid at the beginning of each semester.
For athletics lovers, the card is also a student’s ticket into free USF home games or athletic events, as well as a membership card for the Campus Recreation Center.
For students living on campus, the USF Card is a must. It’s used for checking out books, accessing computers and printers in the library and getting into computer labs all over campus. It’s even used as the access card into residence halls.
So what if you forget your ID card? Does that mean you can’t get into your dorm? Joyetta Burgess, a sophomore Social Work and Criminology major, said that it’s nothing to worry about.
“I lived on campus in Holly, and after going home for breaks, I’d get here and realize I left my card at home,” she said. “But it was no big problem. I’d just go to the main office of Holly and they’d give me a temporary card.”
In addition to dorm and library access, the USF ID card also contains a library number, which students can use to browse the library’s online services, including databases and online journals, course reserves and online book renewal. It even enables students to obtain a USF e-mail account.
“It’s used to get into their dorms, for meal plans, purchasing books, ATM access … some professors even require it for students to take exams. It’s pretty much their life on campus,” Hopkins said.
However, the USF card is also useful off campus. Several restaurants in the area offer discounts to students who present their USF ID Card, including China First Buffet, Jason’s Deli and Westshore Pizza.
Lois Bryan, the general manager at Ryan’s Steakhouse, said that the restaurant has been offering a discount to USF Students for the past six years. “We give a ten percent discount,” she said. “We did it to bring in business … that’s the only reason that we would have done it. But USF students and faculty have always come to Ryan’s, even before we offered the discount. Ryan’s has been here 16 years, and USF was here long before that. We get many people in here from USF.”
Joel Rivera, a student assistant for the USF Card Center, said that he uses his card most often when he goes out with friends.
“I know where they give discounts,” he said, “or I’ll ask if they do.”
There are even theaters and retail stores in the area that offer discounts for those with a USF ID Card
In order to avoid missing out on the benefits of the USF ID Card, Hopkins says, “Wherever you go near campus, ask if they give student discounts.”
Hopkins has compiled a list of the most popular places in the area that offer USF discounts. The list is available at the USF Card Center or online at www.auxsvc.usf.edu/usfcard_services.html .
The USF ID Card is not entirely for recreation. It is the official student identification for all USF students. University policy requires that all students obtain and carry their USF ID card while on campus. More on this policy can be found in the student handbook, which is available online at www.sa.usf.edu/handbook.
Original cards or replacements for them may be obtained at the USF Card Center, located in Room 105 of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center.
Replacement cards, though, are only free under certain conditions, such as having a faded photograph or being unable to be recoded. However, if the card is damaged due to abuse or carelessness, the cost of replacement is $10.
USF provides family cards, which are available to the family members of students. These cards provide access to the USF library and a membership to the Campus Recreation Center. The first family card is $10 and any additional cards are $25 each.
USF cards are also available to distance learning students and are required in order to gain a NetID for access to USF Portal and Blackboard classes. For an application, visit www.auxsvc.usf.edu/form_distance_learning.asp .
An important note: If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the USF Card Center. This helps to prevent someone else from finding and using your card to access USF facilities
“We get twenty or thirty lost cards brought over from the library every other day, and we also get about ten a day that were dropped in the mailbox,” Georgia Sparger, an employee in the USF Card Center, said. “A lot of the lost cards are never picked up. We go through them about every six months and put the leftover ones in a box in case someone comes in for them.”
If you think you’ve lost your card, check with the USF Card Center first. They maintain a lost and found file for ID cards, which is available in the Card Center on weekdays and at the Marshall Center Information Desk on the weekends or at night
If you think your card was stolen, bring a copy of the police report with you if possible. USF prohibits the use of any USF ID card by anyone but the person to whom it was issued. Those who use the USF card inappropriately may be penalized.
To obtain your USF ID Card, visit the USF Tampa Campus Card Center in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, Room 105. In addition to the ID cards, the Card Center also provides passport photographs at a cost of two for $8.
For more information, contact the USF Card Center by phone at (813) 974-2357, or visit them on the web at www.auxsvc.usf.edu/usfcard.asp .
The USF Card Center is open Monday and Thursday 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 am to 6 pm and Friday 8 am to 5 pm. It are also open the first Saturday of every month from 9 am to 1 pm.