Are you reluctant to give out your Social Security number when you do not think it is appropriate? UR is working on a way to ease that anxiety.

In June, UR will officially convert to using eight-digit student identification numbers that will be encoded on new ID cards.

The numbers will be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester to meet a state requirement that Social Security numbers not be used for identification purposes on public documents.

?Students will have to turn in their old cards and get the new ones as soon as [they] get back in the fall. As soon as [they] get it, the new card will work,? Associate Provost Lynne Davidson said. ?The cards will already be created ? just pick [them] up. It should be a pretty simple process.?

The new identification number will be used in place of the student?s SSN in places such as the Barnes and Nobles River Campus Bookstore or on forms for registration.

Students will be allowed to use their old cards for a limited time during the fall until they acquire the new card, Davidson said, adding that those in Rochester over the summer can pick up their new cards during the break.

Davidson said that the idea behind the adoption of the new numbers is to get students to stop using their SSN as an identifier when conducting business around campus.

The new numbers are still personal identifiers and she hopes that students will hold them in the same regard as their SSN, Davidson said.

The new identification numbers will not appear on the new cards, but students will be informed of the numbers, Davidson said.

Students can learn the new number when they get their cards. Other possible notification methods may be to send a letter to students? home addresses over the summer or to post the numbers on a protected Web site similar to the Access site.

Eight-digit numbers were chosen to ensure that the administration would have enough numbers to hand out to new students without repeating numbers already given out.

?There are enough digits so that we are not going to reuse numbers, to avoid confusion,? Davidson said. ?We are going to use enough as not to run out, but not go as far as nine digits and create confusion with the SSNs.?

?It is a several-stage process that is broken down into pieces,? Davidson said. ?There is a lot of programming involved. All of it had to be redone, and it is almost done now. The bulk of the cost is in reprogramming.?

Some places on campus will need to maintain the use of the SSN as a way to identify individuals. SSNs will still be used in the Financial Aid Office and on forms concerning student employment.

?We will continue to keep SSNs on file in offices where they are needed,? Davidson said.



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