Cougar Card receives updated design
The UH Cougar Card office is planning an updated look to the Cougar Card, set to roll out for the upcoming fall semester.
The new card has been in development over the last two years as UH studied new ID card technologies and services. The Cougar Card office worked with the UH marketing team on three card images in October 2018 and held a campaign for students, faculty and staff to update their photos which ends Friday at midnight.
“It is our intent to elevate the student experience by providing a modern, integrated and extensive card program that will improve flexibility and security across the UH System,” said Deborah Davis, director of the Cougar Card office.
The Cougar Card office offered selfie stations in May for students, faculty, and staff alike to update their photos, but primarily focused their efforts on faculty and staff as students were in finals during that time.
“Faculty and staff received targeted emails. We wanted to provide an opportunity for this population to update their photos,” Davis said. “We realized that most students would be engaged in their finals and preparing to leave the campus for the summer.”
However, the Cougar Card office plans to reopen new photo submissions for students in the fall.
“During the fall semester, we will launch the returning student new photo campaign and deploy the selfie stations at various times throughout the fall semester,” Davis said. “If a new photo is not submitted or taken, existing photos will be used to produce the new card.”
Davis pointed out that students would be able to upload photos at any time from the MyPhoto app on AccessUH.
There will still be a $10 charge for updating photos, lost cards and name changes. However, the first replacement of the new card during this transition is free, Davis said.
Damaged or worn cards will still be replaced with no charge, so long as the cardholder exchanges the old card for their new one at the Cougar Card office.
The Cougar Card already has integrated online services such as lost/stolen card deactivation, meal plan activity and status checking, the ability to check transactions and balances, and the ability to add cash to ShastaBUCKS and Cougar Cash, but there are more services planned for the future.
“Some future enhancements include the launch of the digital representation of our Cougar Card and an off-campus merchant program,” Davis said.
While students don’t have to submit a selfie themselves and can still opt to visit the Cougar Card office to take their photo, their website recommended uploading a picture to avoid waiting in line to have one taken.
The Cougar Card office recommended students upload a passport photo, in JPEG format and at least 300 pixels wide, through the online portal. There is no cost to upload a photo through the website.
Submitted photos should be in color, have a “white or off-white background,” feature a “natural expression,” with the subject facing directly towards the camera. The website asks that the photo have proper exposure, focus, and lighting, or else the picture may be unusable.
The subject of the photo also can’t be wearing a hat or sunglasses, but may wear regular glasses and religious headgear so long as they do not obscure or cast shadows over any part of the face.
“The photo requirements are in line with industry standards,” Davis said. “It is important to properly portray the individuals through the campus access card to minimize risk of inappropriate usage of the card.”