Students take to lines for U-Pass
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 18:09
This fall, Roosevelt University teamed up with the Chicago Transit Authority to offer full-time students another year of unlimited rides on public transportation through its U-Pass program. Students were able to obtain passes in August, in two to three hour time slots, between noon and 6 p.m.
If students did not pick up the U-Pass during August 17-27, they had to go to the Registrar’s Office to receive it - which included an additional 10-day waiting period.
The U-Pass program is organized through Marquis ID Systems, an Indiana company that works with the Chicago Transit Authority. Because Marquis serves more than 50 colleges and universities in the Chicago area, it offers each school five days to plan distribution.
Those eligible to receive and pick up their U-Pass were required to have a copy of their academic schedules and university identification card. New students, as well as transfer and even some returning students had to take a picture to get their cards. Those students who did not need to take a new picture should have received an email from the Registrar’s Office informing them of the assigned distribution days and where to pick up their passes in the Wabash building. The CTA and Marquis staffs were responsible for taking the students’ pictures.
Aasha Gholar is administrative secretary for the Office of the Registrar and the CTA U-Pass coordinator.
“I make a list [of students] and send it to Marquis ID Systems, which is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana,” she said.
She added that Roosevelt University organized the dates and times by basing them on the school’s volunteer population, all of whom help the Marquis staff to hand out the U-Passes. Most of the volunteers work within the Registrar’s Office and with campus staff members.
The University of Illinois at Chicago, however, has 13 separate U-Pass distribution days, all of which start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
Kenneth M. Thomas, Student Member of the Board of Trustees spoke in regards to why UIC had more flexibility in their schedules.
“The school hands them out through the student services. UIC pays the student staff members to help with the distribution dates,” he said. “We haven’t really had any complaints.”
Gholar said Roosevelt could consider implementing a similar policy in the future.
“We would definitely get more volunteers, but the one thing about the Roosevelt staff is that they’re pretty great with volunteering,” she said. “They wouldn’t need to be paid to help out.”
Students who have missed the distribution days can visit the Registrar’s Office, fill out a late issuance form and have their photos taken. Photos will be sent to Marquis, and the U-Pass will be shipped to the university via UPS. This process usually takes seven business days.
The Registrar’s Office is located in the mezzanine of the Wabash Building in Chicago and on the Schaumburg Campus, room 120.
Were you excited or exacerbated with U-Pass distribution? Continue the conversation with @RUTORCH