StormCard replacements too costly for students

Starting this year, the University has implemented a new fee schedule for StormCard replacements. An E-mail was sent out to all students indicating the break down of the fees. The first replacement is $25, the second $50, the third $75 and four or more replacements cost $100 each.

The StormCard fees are one of the many fines that St. John’s has implemented this year. The University states that we must pay these replacement fees “regardless of whether the card is damaged, lost, or stolen.” The word regardless in this statement is troublesome. The University has a longstanding reputation of issuing defective StormCards. So according to their statement, does that mean the students have to pay the replacement fee for a faulty card that the University issued? Does that card fall under the category of damaged? “$100 is an exuberant price to pay for a StormCard,” says junior Shani Spence. “Once you get in the $100 range you start to ask yourself, where is this money going? I have had technical difficulties with my card for three years. I’m documented for having five replacements.”

This is the case for many students here at St John’s, especially when using the printing machines.

When students were asked how often they replace their StormCards, many said about two to three times over the course of their four years. Most said it was a result of either a faulty chip, cracking, or losing it in the computer lab or library in a rush to class. Whatever the reason is, the idea of fining students even $50 is ludicrous. Students here at St John’s pay as much as $30,000 in tuition, which includes an activities and University general fee.

Many students do not even know what these fees are for. According to a St. John’s Bursar representative, “The University general fee covers services such as the athletic and the health center, transcripts, registration, etc.”

There is no valid reason that can explain why StormCards are not covered under this general fee.

It is unclear as to what the goal of the University is in creating such high fees. Are these fees supposed to be some sort of deterrence? If so, that is an absolutely absurd solution.

The StormCards crack easily, many times with little effort. How can the University fine students $50, let alone $100 dollars for an I.D. card? Junior Jovan Williams agrees somewhat with the deterrence issue. “I think that it is negligence on the part of the students who lose their StormCard,” Williams said. Students will become more responsible if they know they have stiff fines to face. There should however be a onetime grace period.”

The students deserve reasonable fines. We have a bookstore that charges an arm and a leg for textbooks and a cafeteria that sells hamburgers for $3.00.

It does not make sense for St. John’s to create more financial problems for its students.