With the possible addition of a U.S. Bank branch in the Memorial Union also comes the possibility of having the bank’s logo on student ID cards.
One option still under negotiations between the university and U.S. Bank is the addition of the bank’s logo on the back of ID cards, which would also give students and faculty the option of turning their IDs into debit cards.
“This is just one of the elements that are part of this arrangement … overtime we are looking to increase convenience and functionality for multi-function cards with the use of technology,” said Janet Gong, associate vice chancellor of students.
If the contract is signed, the university stands to receive a $300,000 signing bonus and $190,000 per year from the bank for the use of the Memorial Union’s East Conference Room. U.S. Bank would also pay to revamp the ID cards to include the logo.
“[We have] motivation to be involved with corporate sponsors to find financial support out of desire to enhance student service and convenience,” Gong said. “Less than 20 percent [of the university’s finances] come from the state.“
Other universities have looked to corporate funds to make ends meet. For example, Sacramento State has a Wells Fargo logo on student IDs as well as San Diego State and Sonoma State, which both have U.S. Bank logos, said Brett Burns, director of the Memorial Union. Student IDs at UCs Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego are all free of any corporate logos.
Though negotiations are still underway, the possible addition would be a complete branch capable of issuing loans and credit.
Burns said the university is concerned about lending practices and says it is not endorsing U.S. Bank.
“There are safeguards in place to make sure that this is not the preferred loan vender for the university,” he said. “The university is extremely strict on commercial institutions on campus.”
Burns said an oversight committee is in place as well as documents outlining university policy about credit card solicitation on campus. The rules forbid allowing commercial bank institutions to solicit students in the dorms to apply for credit cards.
Conversations between the university and ASUCD President Ivan Carrillo, the only student representative, are still ongoing. They will meet sometime late this week, Burns said.
Carrillo refused to answer questions regarding the logo addition.
“Negotiations are progressing and I believe we are close to coming to a deal,“ Carrillo said in an e-mail interview. “When this happens I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have,“
Gong said any partnership with the university will strive to maintain the university’s integrity.
“How to create a partnership that helps protect the mission and integrity of the university and ensure the integrity holds dear to the university and students,” she said. “Whether it’s a gift or partnership, [it’s] bad when you give away the integrity of the mission.“
ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at email@example.com.