Your Owl License

You’ve been dragged around all day by orientation leaders on a tedious, browbeating tour around campus. Your water bottle is empty and thick beads of sweat from the summer’s humidity are running down your face.

Boring sessions about “money matters” gave you an overdose of information and now orientation leaders are asking you to stand in line for something called an “Owl Card.”

But this line leading to the Owl Card Center, while painfully long, is important. Your FAU ID is not the typical white, rectangular piece of cheap plastic with a scribbled signature on it. The Owl Card is more valuable than your license; it contains more money than your checking account (if you have a meal plan), and it’s the key to your new life as a student.

“Students use the Owl Card for everything,” says Bill Rinaldi, the program assistant for the Owl Card Center. “For meal plans, BankAtlantic, the library services, dorms – you name it. Plus, you get discounts at the movies with it.”

The Owl Card is free of charge the first time you receive it. All you have to do is fill out an information card, stand in line, smile for the picture and you’ll have your college ID within minutes.

Curious about adding money to the card? You can find cash-to-card machines all over campus where you can easily refresh your balance.

Just remember to guard this baby with your life – losing the Owl Card is similar to losing your credit card.

“If the Owl Card is lost, the student needs to contact the business services to block the card immediately,” says Rinaldi. “It’s just too dangerous to lose it and run the risk of somebody else using it.”

You’ll probably be using the Owl Card on everything from an Italian caprese sub at Quiznos to making copies of your English essay at the library. Just remember to carry it everywhere and – most importantly – don’t lose it.

“Losing your Owl Card is worse than losing your credit card,” says pre-med freshman Elizabeth Gosein-Vasquez. “The Owl Card is practically my everything when I’m on campus.”