Search for the Swipe: BC Swipe Cards Conveniently Located at Bottom of Backpack


VESTIBULE, 12/03/18 The Berkeley Carroll School puts the wellbeing of their students first, as seen in last year’s installment of the safety doors, security booth, and most recently “Swipe Cards”. A “Swipe” card is a magnetized identification slip that not only permits the entrance of only cardholders into the building but tracks student attendance efficiently or so we were told.

Before the new wave of security measures, Berkeley Carroll  introduced a reliable method to take student attendance, even if they came to school late, left school early, or went out during lunch: the iPad sign in. Students would use the tablet to sign in and out, ignoring the dirt, bacteria, and possible traces of fecal matter, and the process went smoothly…except for the occasional traffic build up.

The school responded to the iPad traffic by creating a public sign in/out doc that was shared with students via email, a step in the right direction.  Recently, the school has invested a lot of time and money into a new system that will supposedly make the process easier than before. While excitement and anticipation is high, a serious reality must be called into question: could an easier mode of signout be possible, or was it too good to be true?

As the community has been adjusting to the installment of the security booth over the past few weeks, students and faculty members alike have found themselves at the mercy of the security guard stationed at the front desk. Depending on who is on duty, the guard may or may not know there is someone locked outside. The installment of the “Swipe” system has shone light on this once stilted yet functional  relationship, raising more concerns than hopes; it is now clear that for too long the relationship between desk and door has been doing the BC community a great disservice: Nobody at Berkeley Carroll is prepared to open the front doors on their own anymore. BC has recently added weight to their attendance-keeping, implementing new consequences that make the outdated demerit system seem obsolete in comparison. To avoid a M.A.S.H. or Mandatory After-School Study Hall, one must check in to their class before 8:15 am. In a mere sixteen hours since the student body was handed their “Swipe Cards”, a record number of M.A.S.H.s have already been recorded.

We interviewed some members of the community who have attributed the influx to “the time people spend searching for their cards in their bags, wallets, etcetera.” According to multiple sources, the search for the swipe usually starts no sooner than the walk up the stairs from the courtyard and ends on the floor of the vestibule holding back tears. Many people lose their cards among the scattered papers of their bags, as the thin plastic may slip easily between late essays and crumpled homeworks. “At least they break easily” managed one senior, as they unraveled a tangle of elastic formerly known as the card’s attachable clip. While the cards are made to save us from outside dangers, one thing we should consider turning our attention to is how to keep us safe from ourselves. “All the popular kids have matching purple clips, and I almost let someone ask me out for theirs.” admitted a freshman, “I’m beginning to lose sight of myself, and it’s only second period.” However, there are those who manage to find the silver linings despite the chaos: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” exclaimed a contented sophomore, “my acne is so bad in my school photo, this is about to be my new I.D.”