On Jan. 21, the University of Connecticut’s Husky OneCard system failed yet again, disrupting the use of points and “Husky Bucks” at UConn Cafes, meal plans at dining halls and at university-owned printing systems.
According to coverage from the Daily Campus, a sign at Homer Babbage Library said, “OneCard is having a campus-wide issue on their network.” Though the university resolved the issue within a few hours and worked well under the circumstances, such is another failure in the OneCard system, and one which provided a great inconvenience for students, as well as workers at the various affected operations.
In a November 18 piece for the Daily Campus, Sarah McNeal reported on a similar failure of the UConn student identification card system, in which students living on campus could gain access to the dormitory they last occupied. Though it is not clear that the OneCard points, meal plan or Husky Bucks are interconnected with dormitory swipe access, all systems do rely on the same identification cards and have proven potentially faulty.
The failure of the system in November allowed for a potential security hazard, as students could access dormitories which they no longer lived in, and this January system failure temporarily restricted student access to the points, meal plan and Husky Bucks that are part of their room and board fees. The negative impact on student security and experience cannot be overlooked now as this represents the second major failure of the system.
The university must conduct a thorough review of the OneCard and student identification card system. Though debugging the system may be expensive and time consuming, the university cannot afford to further jeopardize dormitory security or student access to services they have paid for and have a legitimate need to access. Students, faculty and staff require a reliable and secure OneCard and identification card system.
Adopting a proactive approach and identifying any potential weak points in this system will go a long way to ensure students, faculty and staff have faith in a system which has proven prone to error and failure. Though the university worked out a solution to this latest problem in a matter of hours, other, more complex failures could greatly impact campus life if unnoticed until too late.