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the Gauntlet

How to lose your U-Pass (and get it back)

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As everyone knows, students at the University of Calgary this year will pay $50 per term for the new U-Pass. However, there's an unpleasant little feature that remains to be addressed: the replacement fee.

I lose my U of C id card on a regular basis. Be it en route to the gym, the Dining Centre or the library, I manage to drop or misplace it at least once each semester. It was annoying to pay $10 to replace it two years ago. It was frustrating to pay $20 to replace it last year. Last week, I was told that I would need to pay $70 dollars to replace my card--or, forfeit my U-Pass.

I'm easy to get along with. I don't like to make a fuss. I could even understand the replacement fee for the U-Pass if it were transferable, like a regular transit pass. For example, if it were possible to give away or sell your pass, then charging a full price replacement fee would make sense. However, since the U-Pass is fixed on picture id, there is no easy way to lend it, sell it or give it to a friend.

So, I made a fuss.

I was directed by an officer at the Campus Security lost and found to Food Services with a receipt for my newly replaced id. There I was told that, receipt or no receipt, I would be charged $50 for my new sticker. When I asked why there was a replacement fee for the pass, the Food Services officer handed me back my pass-less card and rudely sent me on my way.

Thoroughly determined to defy Food Services and get my new U-Pass for free, I filed a statement with Ancillary Services, explaining my situation. The following day, I received a phone call from their office. In order to attain a new U-Pass, I would need to file a lost or stolen report with the Calgary Police Service. Only then was my U-Pass replaced free of charge.

Now I have my shiny new sticker, and to be honest, I feel a little smug whenever I use it. I guess sometimes it pays to make a fuss.

Hopefully, an easier way to replace the pass will be developed soon, as more and more students lose their id cards and make a fuss on their own. Until then, go straight to Ancillary Services to file claims for lost id cards. After all, it doesn't cost the university anything to replace your U-Pass, so why should it cost you?

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