The University of New Hampshire (UNH) began reopening for the Spring 2021 semester with new protocols to keep students safe, including updates to the Wildcat Pass.
The Wildcat Pass is a tool used to monitor a student’s compliance with UNH testing and other COVID-19 protocols throughout the semester.
In numerous emails to students, UNH administration emphasized the increased importance of maintaining a valid Wildcat Pass throughout the semester. Enforcement of a valid Wildcat Pass has become increasingly more stringent as students arrive at the Durham campus.
When opening up a student’s Wildcat Pass, the most obvious addition is the QR code. According to Erika Mantz, the spokeswoman for UNH, the QR code allows for “confirmation that a WCP is valid at the time of being checked.”
A student’s Wildcat Pass also notifies the student of their test drop-off dates, as well as their most recent test drop-off.
Some areas on campus, such as dining halls and the Hamel Recreation Center, can scan the code to confirm compliance. Students are also required to present their Wildcat Pass when using Wildcat Transit. The general public is exempt, however.
In addition, Mantz stressed that off-campus businesses and landlords can use the Wildcat Pass as well.
In an email to faculty and staff, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Wayne Jones Jr. noted that “COVID-19 transmission occurred primarily off campus.”
Students will also face harsher punishment for non-compliance. According to Mantz, students who miss a test will receive a text and email alert. Should they fail to drop off their test within 24 hours, their Wildcat Pass will become invalid. If a Wildcat Pass becomes invalid twice, students will face conduct charges.
It is unclear if an invalid pass or missed test will result in eviction from housing, much like when 27 students were evicted for noncompliance during the fall.
UNH has also expanded Wildcat Pass to all members of the university community. Employees of UNH are now required to maintain valid Wildcat Pass, as they are now part of the UNH testing pool. Last semester, ConvenientMD managed testing for faculty and staff.
“We are confident that the pass will not remain valid if students test positive, are in quarantine and/or neglect to turn in a test on time,” said Mantz.
Photo courtesy of the University of New Hampshire