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Western implements identification badges for students, staff, visitors

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Western University is asking all students and staff to wear identification lanyards on campus starting Monday as part of a new “safety” initiative.  

The university’s “community identification system” asks students and staff to wear Western-branded lanyards with their ONECards on display. Students will be expected to pick up their lanyards in Alumni Hall by the end of the month and “register” the receipt by swiping their ONECard.

"We wanted to create a visual way to help identify who is on our campus at any given time – including visitors to campus," said Western's acting provost and vice-president of academics Sarah Prichard, in a statement included on the identification system's website. 

Western does not mention how the identification system will be enforced or if students will face consequences if they fail to wear their lanyard, stating "if you forget it, it's okay. Just remember to wear it next time." 

The new identification system is not tied to Western’s vaccine mandate, according to the university, and efforts to enforce campus identification will continue after the pandemic. 

"During the pandemic, people have had to use their Western ONECard more frequently to enter buildings and access resources," said Prichard. "We hope students and employees will wear these lanyards proudly and find them functional at the same time."

A visitor registration system will begin Jan. 22 after which most campus visitors, including prospective students, researchers and vendors, “must be registered” online and wear branded lanyards during their visit. 

Individuals passing through campus on foot or bike will not require visitor passes and neither will emergency personnel, those accessing Western’s Legal Aid Clinic or bylaw enforcement officers. 

Some visitors will warrant separate visitor processes, like convocation attendees and varsity game spectators, and will not require standard visitor passes. 

Students will have faculty-branded lanyards available for pick-up in Alumni Hall Nov. 8 to 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Employees can access their lanyards through their faculty administrative units starting Nov. 15..

Update (Nov. 5, 2021, 6:44 p.m.): This article has been updated to include Sarah Prichard's comment from the Western community identification system website. 

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