Clubhouse Pub to recieve new ID card scanners

The Rensselaer Union Executive Board had two main topics of discussion for its meeting last Thursday: changes to the Union’s email system and purchase of a new ID scanner for the Pub.

Rasika Ekhalikard ’17 and David Raab ’19, both systems administrators for the Union, came before the E-Board to discuss the migration of the Union’s emailing system. In short, the Union is currently using extremely outdated software to host the mailing lists that the student government and clubs utilize. The current system does not comply with anti-spam best practices, and creates problems when sending to Gmail addresses. As Raab put it, “the only reason it works right now is because it’s whitelisted and bypassed on checks [by the Division of the Chief Information Officer.]”

With the changes, mailing addresses ending in union.rpi.edu will change to union.lists.rpi.edu. Systems administrators will be emailing club leaders to migrate any existing mailing lists they might have to the new system. Club leaders will also be able to request new mailing lists through system administrators, as well as having the option of a shared inbox. List management will remain under the Club Management System. Justin Etzine ’18 asked about what would happen if a club failed to respond to the system administrator’s email about migrating mailing lists. Raab told the E-Board that the club would be put on hold until the club contacted them, at which time they would be able to migrate their lists. The E-Board approved the change 16-0-2.

The main discussion of the evening was about new ID scanners for the Pub. The current ID scanner used in the Pub is getting old and, while still effective, will need to be replaced as new ID technology enters use. Chris Hoskins ’17 presented options to the E-Board.

The first option is a mobile, independent unit. The device would scan the barcode on the back of the ID to determine its legality. The device would cost between $1,000–1,200. The second option is similarly portable. However, it is simply an Android app with a $50 per month subscription fee. This app also scans the barcode on the back of the ID. The worry about the more portable devices is that they can be easily misplaced.

Aaron Davis of Advanced ID Detection presented the third option to the E-Board. The device has a scanner and display screen, and is capable of scanning both the front and back of IDs to determine legality. Davis explained that this scanner is able to catch what 95 percent of other scanners will miss, such as small security details on the front of IDs. Advanced ID Detection works with companies that develop security for IDs, so they are able to update their system quickly and reliably. Davis demonstrated the effectiveness of the system using confiscated fake IDs, that had fooled members of the E-Board.

Although the price of the scanner is in the $3,000 range, the E-Board determined that it was best to reduce risk as much as possible. This scanner would also be able to scan the IDs of the many international patrons the Pub receives. The E-Board voted 18-0-1 to purchase the scanner from Advanced ID Detection.

The E-Board concluded their meeting with committee reports.