By Andrew Lohafer
Unique opportunities are available to Whatcom Community College students with an Orca Card, the student I.D. at Whatcom.
An orca card is required to check out materials from the library and to pay for printing. Orca cards can also be used to pay at the campus bookstore and vending machines across campus. Westside pizza also accepts payments from Orca cards and there are plans to include other off campus locations in the future.
There are kiosks across campus where students can put additional money on a card. Each card also has a microchip that can unlock buildings on campus with newly installed card readers, like Roe studio and Syre Student Center.
An Orca card also gives students access to a host of resources on and off Whatcom’s campus. Recreational facilities, including a gym and weight room, are available inside the Pavilion.
“I play basketball, so I am here all the time. It’s really convenient,” said Nicholas Kussman, a Whatcom student.
Western Washington University also allows current Whatcom students with a student I.D. to buy memberships to use the Wade King Recreation Center located on its campus. The current price for one quarter is $145.
Whatcom students can also utilize Western’s Outdoor Center, which offers equipment rentals, a bike shop and classes. The Outdoor Center also organizes hiking and mountain biking trips around Bellingham which are also open to Whatcom students.
Whatcom students can also reserve a computer at Western’s library as well as check out up to ten items, including videos and journals. The library also allows Whatcom students access to online research databases like EBSCO and ProQuest.
“The library is an invaluable tool for all students,” said Ian Alexander, a sophomore at Western. “It has helped out a lot.”
Orca cards are available at the Student Life center located in Syre 208. The first card is free and comes pre-loaded with $15 for printing and copying.
Correction:An earlier version of this story stated, “For every $25 that’s put on an Orca card, the college will add an extra $2.50.” This is incorrect. We regret the error.