Officials at Northern Arizona University are reminding students that faculty members have the choice to use new electronic scanners that track attendance at the campus’s largest lecture halls, but some students continue their vocal opposition to the technology as the fall semester gets underway.
The Flagstaff, Ariz., university will use “proximity card readers” in freshmen and sophomore classrooms that hold more than 50 students, where calling attendance would eat into valuable class time for instructors.
The scanners would require students to swipe their campus identification cards and create an electronic record that they attended class that day.
Some student protest has remained vocal as the new school year begins. A Facebook group called “NAU Against Proximity Cards” has attracted more than 1,600 members, and campus political groups have excoriated university decision makers for using more than $80,000 in federal stimulus money to create the attendance-tracking program.