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Examining the Eagle-One Card

The most important card you?ll ever (not) have

Published: Monday, January 21, 2002

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


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Samantha Massie

A steady number of careless students are continuously approaching the card-replacement area in the Student Services office.

It lets us in from the cold. It's the outlet through which we justify the thrice-daily force-feedings. Its simple flash next to a not-so-shabby ID (fake or not) is an instant in to Mary Ann's. It's the Eagle-One Card: The flimsy slab of plastic that means so much more.

It occurred to The Heights' renowned Features Research Branch that a spotlight on the Eagle-One -- an Eagle-One Expose, if you will -- is long overdue. Join us in a not-so-thorough examination of that crucial card: the Eagle-One.

Drawing the card

Because one's Agora picture can be viewed not only on his or her card but also via the campus-wide Directory Search (also known as "StalkerNet"), a student's particular "photo-on-file" must be perfect.

Many students make it a regular habit to take and retake their photos in the Student Services office until they appear in their absolute prime for all the school to see. One freshman, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted to visiting Lyons Hall four days in a row so that she could try out different hairstyles and shirt types on her quest for the perfect photo.

"It was so embarrassing -- in my high school portrait I was leaning on a fence in the middle of what looked a hell of a lot like a farm," she complained. "Why should I have to deal with that if I don't have to?"

And she's right. Louise Lonabocker, director of student services, affirmed that as long as one brings in his or her most recent card, there will be no charge for the reissuing of a new card with a new photo.

"The new picture is a new phenomenon ... I think that's connected to the photos being on the Web, particularly on Classmate Rosters," said Lonabocker.

Chris Cordella, director of operations at student services, agreed. "Ever since Agora came up, we've seen a constant increase in photo retakes ... Now we always ask right away if students want a different picture," he said, adding that the new photos get uploaded to Agora within 24 hours.

David Schlemann, A&S '02, admits quite openly to being excessively guilty of the photo-retake phenomenon. After seven retakes, Schlemann is fairly satisfied with his current photo, in which simple touches (such as headphones still on head that scream jus' chillin') and other details add the personal flavor for which Schlemann was hoping.

Still, he feels the photo process could improve.

"I don't like how [the photographers] count to three, then take the picture on two," said Schlemann.

Schlemann was also disgruntled that the photo process was so formally structured. "They shouldn't say 'look here,'" he suggested. "They should take it when you least expect it. You know, capture the 'genuine you.'"

Though Schlemann was willing to disclose to his fellow students his photo retake obsession, he'd usually break his card himself to have a better reason for retaking his picture.

Losing the card

To be without one's card at BC is more or less to be without the key to the universe. Not that such a key exists, but the Eagle-One card is truly necessary to campus life. So why are some students so careless with this magic plastic?

Courtney Shea, A&S '04, admits to having lost her card an estimated 17 times. She currently has four different re-discovered cards at her disposal. Her method of cardlessness ranges from her accidentally breaking the card to her listening wistfully as the card splashed quietly into the Charles River during crew practice.

Shea answered a resounding "No!" when asked if she was a violent person. "I just lose them," she claimed. "I've lost three in the river ... I lost six freshman first semester ... I lost two within two days once." While some of Shea's classmates would cringe at her carelessness, all too many can easily relate.

Frequent card loss puts many students in a rough situation when it comes time to deal with Mom and Dad's concern over anonymous (to them, at least) charges to student accounts.

"The first time my parents got a bill for $120 they were bewildered and I reassured them that, 'Oh no, this is just an annual fee,'" said Shea. "They didn't believe that for much longer."

Shea is currently considering applying for work in Student Services, where she might get up-close-and-personal access to the wondrous Eagle-One technology herself.

Finding the card

It's almost depressing, the random and sometimes way too obvious places we locate our old cards an hour after we have replaced them.

While the typical locales for finding cards -- "coat pockets, pocketbooks, basically anywhere," according to Shea -- are often the best place to look first (though "everywhere" might complicate the quest), sometimes the seemingly last place one would look is where the lost card turns up.

This reporter, whose Eagle-One Card proudly bears the sequence 11, found three different cards last year stuck to the back of an oft-fallen poster upon dismantling the dorm room in May. Eagle-Ones gleaming in the sunlight have been spotted along the dirt path around the Reservoir. Kate Leward, A&S '02, even admitted to finding a long-lost card in her refrigerator's vegetable drawer -- three months later.

Finding the Eagle-One, especially if the lost card has yet to be replaced, is an experience similar to Charlie finding the Golden Ticket. The obvious "gold" theme of the card aside, the Eagle-One, like the Golden Ticket, is a sort of "key to the kingdom" as far as sweet treats on campus.

Replacing the card

Student Services employees are by now used to scatterbrained students begging for new cards. Most also go a step further and proceed to complain about the $20 charge per lost card.

"We've had some kids who have had sequences in the 20s," said Cordella. "Unfortunately for the ones that are that high, we could be charging in the hundreds and they'd keep on losing them.

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