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Student activity card not voluntary for graduation

The student activities card is not an optional fee for some students on campus. Students enrolled in some childhood development and health classes must pay the fee to satisfy the course requirements.

Dr. Kendyl L Magnuson, the director of enrollment services, was not even aware of the policy.

One official, after reviewing the policy, said he believes the fee is compulsory and not optional.

Mark Evilsizer, a governing board trustee said, “These requirements that are spelled out do not offer you an option, they offer you a ‘you must’, you must purchase, so it’s mandatory.”

Jenny Fererro, associate professor and department chair of the Child Development Department, confirmed that the ID card is mandatory to graduate.

“Yes, because you wouldn’t be able to complete all of the course requirements you would need if you didn’t have that ID,” she said.

One student who must purchase a student identification card is Jasmine Quintanaracruz. She is a fourth-year Palomar College student and wants to transfer to Cal State San Marcos after she receives an associate’s degree in Childhood Development.

When asked why she purchased a student ID card she said, “For the gym and for my childhood development classes; because when I go to do my observations at the childhood development center I need to have my ID on me so they know who I am.”
The fee has bothered some students, namely Quintanaracruz.

“This is $15 that I could have spent on my kids,” she added.

Students who want to fulfill the health requirement and a more flexible schedule can take Kinesiology 128.

The class requires fulfilling a certain number of hours in the fitness center in order to pass the course. However, a Palomar College identification card is needed to fulfill the Kinesiology 128 requirement.

“In order to track their hours and visits we have them swipe in … It’s mandatory to have their ID card to work out,” Angela Belleville, the fitness center database assistant said.

Belleville points out this requirement has been in place for a long time. Anyone who wants to work out at the fitness center must have a Palomar ID card to identify themselves in the system.

The ID card is required especially for those who want an associate’s degree in childhood development.

CHDV 99 and CHDV 105 and its associated labs are listed in the Palomar College Catalog as required for the Childhood Development major and the Palomar College class schedule lists those classes as requiring the purchase of a student activities card.

“The reason why is to observe up at the center they have to be wearing a Palomar ID. And the reason why is because the parents up at the center and anyone who works at the center needs to be able to tell at a glance who is supposed to be there and who is not,” Ferrero explained.

It should be said there are policies and procedures in place to circumvent the need of purchasing an ID card. The library, for example, asks for any photo ID and the student can use a numbered keypad to enter their Palomar ID number to check out books.

However, such practices are not available at the fitness center or in childhood development.

Ferrero defends the practice as a one-time purchase and encourages any student who may have any issues with purchasing the ID card to speak with the instructor.
When asked why the gym could not adopt a similar policy Belleville said, “I am not sure because I did not make that rule but like I said I think it does aid in giving the school funding for student services to purchase the activity card.”

Only time will tell if the college will amend its policy to address the need of some of its students like Quintanaracruz.

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