On March 22, photos of students’ Tennessee Tech Eagle Cards were posted to the “Tennessee Tech Confessions” Facebook page. The photos also included a military identification.
One of the photos contained the Eagle Cards of four female Tech students, while the other photo had one female student’s Eagle Card and the Air Force ID of a male Tech student.
Academic Support Associate at the Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library, Rose Black, said that student IDs are not supposed to be posted on social media.
“If someone turns in an ID to us, we email them from the library’s circulation account so they know it’s a legitimate email,” said Black.
Black said that student IDs and thumb drives are lost in the library daily.
“Anything we find, we try to identify the owner and email them immediately,” said Black. She went on to say that nine out of 10 people don’t return to retrieve their belongings.
According to the United States Government Publishing Office Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 701 of the United States Code, whoever photographs, prints or makes a likeness of an ID without authorization is to be fined or imprisoned no longer than six months. There is no rule about posting Eagle Cards online.
“I don’t think it’s an invasion of privacy,” communication professor Russ Witcher said about posting Eagle Cards online, “but somebody did go through the library’s drawers to post these.”
"It is theft but it’s not a crime like murder,” said Witcher. “I do think they are obligated to tell the police about it.”
Witcher is not a lawyer but said that he thinks the library has a better legal case than the five individuals whose Eagle Cards were posted.
After learning that student IDs had been posted online without their knowledge, the library board changed the policy on misplaced Eagle Cards.
“Our new procedure is as soon as an Eagle Card is found, anywhere on the floor, it is taken to the Eagle Card Office,” said Coordinator of Public Services for the library Sharon Holderman.
“If it is found outside of the Eagle Card Office hours, it will be stored, out of view behind a supervisor’s desk then every morning,” said Holderman.
From there, the supervisor will check the new location for IDs and if any are found, they will be taken to the Eagle Card Office. The library will no longer send emails to students who lose their Eagle Card, but the policy for other personal belongings remains unchanged. Other belongings will be kept in the library and the owner will be notified via email.
Holderman said that the person responsible for posting the pictures of the IDs to “Tech Confessions” has been reprimanded. She refused to release their name.
“It’s just a training issue,” Holderman said. “If you have a desire to stray from procedure of anything, from the way we check out books, to the way we handle our lost and found, to talk to a supervisor before you take any action.”
If a student loses their Eagle Card or it is stolen, the Eagle Card Office will immediately cancel the card. Cards can also be deactivated online through Tech’s website. Replacement cards cost $10.