Western University says everyone to wear an ID badge on campus

Western University is implementing a new identification system saying all students, faculty and visitors on the London, Ont. campus will have to wear a badge. 

The university says lanyards are an easy 'visual way to see who is on our campus'

Western University is located in London, Ont. Students, staff and visitors are being asked to wear lanyards as a form of identification. (Colin Butler/ CBC News)

Western University is implementing a new identification system, saying all students, faculty and visitors on the London, Ont. campus will have to wear a badge. 

The university released a statement on its web page this week explaining how branded lanyards will be distributed and designed to differentiate the reason a person is on school property. Existing student or staff cards will be inserted into the lanyards. 

"We wanted to create a visual way to help identify who is on our campus at any given time – including visitors to campus," said Sarah Prichard, acting provost, in the online post.

The school said the lanyard system will help keep the campus, safe and will create a sense of community. It says it is not a response to the vaccination mandate that is in effect at the school.

"We know anything new like this will take some time to take hold. We're strongly encouraging everyone to pick up their lanyards and wear them. The more people that wear them, the stronger the program," Prichard said.

Students are expected to pick up their lanyards next week. Faculty will have theirs distributed starting Nov. 15.

Visitors will need ID badges

Western's campus is set in the north end of London and is approximately 1,200 acres. It's used as a passage across the city for many residents and commuters. It's facilities are also widely used by the general public. 

The school is calling the visitor ID system a pilot project that will begin in January. They say visitors will have to register online and will be given a black "Campus Visitor" lanyard and large visitor identification badge.

"As a public institution we know that people are often walking and biking as they pass through campus. These individuals will not require a visitor ID card and lanyard," the university says.

The school says visitors involved in teaching, training, and entertaining, must register for a badge, in addition to prospective students or employees. The school notes that this new visitor system will start small and will expand once issues are resolved. 

The following people from the community are already registered with the school under a separate visitor process and will not need a lanyard: 

  • Varsity game spectators
  • Visiting athletes
  • Concert attendees/ musical performances
  • User of athletic facilities/WSRC
  • Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre

The following visitors are completely exempt:

  • Patient receiving clinical care
  • Person accessing legal aid clinic
  • Emergency services personnel
  • Inspector/ bylaw enforcement officer/ Ministry of Labour

The school has not said if the identification system will be enforced. It says anyone who forgets to wear the lanyard should try to remember it the next time and to "wear it proudly".


  • An earlier version of this story implied that new identification tags would be issued. The WesternONE card, which students and employees currently have, is to be placed inside the lanyard and publicly displayed.
    Nov 06, 2021 5:19 PM ET