ISU card numbers provide added security

To sooth concerns about privacy

To sooth concerns about privacy and security, ISU students will

now search for test scores under a new number – the one on

their ISU cards.

Student ID numbers have replaced Social Security numbers,

which were widely used for on-campus identification for several


“The change came from many concerns with privacy and

confidentiality,” said Registrar Kathleen Jones.

The new policy took effect this semester, and each professor will

choose how many digits of the number he or she will use.

Jones said the change from Social Security numbers to student ID

numbers, prompted by student and faculty concern about identity

theft, has been in the works for years.

A letter to Vice Provost Howard Shapiro from Associate Director of

English Susan Yager in fall of 2000 was the catalyst for the switch,

she said.

Yager said she sent the letter because of a discussion some of

her students were having about professors requiring the use of

Social Security numbers.

“They were surprised and kind of upset,” she said. “They didn’t

know that they could say no.”

Yager said the new policy is a stronger version of what has always

been in place.

“There has been a request, a standard procedure, not to ask for

the whole Social Security number,” she said. “But it wasn’t always

being followed.”

Students should practice protecting their Social Security numbers

in order to protect their privacyand personal security, Yager said,

and the new policy will only help.

Though it requires students to carry their ISU card or commit the

number to memory, most students say it’s well worth the


“I am happy they are changing the system, because it gives people

more safety in concerns with their Social Security number,” said

Curtis Tarver, junior in sociology. “We should have been using the

student ID numbers a long time ago.”

Osei Appiah, associate professor of advertising, said the change

is a good idea for test posting.

“Even with only five digits of the Social Security number being

posted, people can still figure out ways to invade and infringe on

one’s privacy.”

Jones said the new numbers may take a little getting used to, but it

will help in the long run.

“It’s the right thing and the best thing to do.” she said.