Archive for Friday, October 18, 2002

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October 18, 2002

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— Credit card companies will have less time on campus to woo university students, the Kansas Board of Regents decided Thursday.

Regents voted 6-3 to ban credit card solicitations on campus a minimum of the first two weeks of a semester and the last week of the semester.

The policy also requires solicitors provide information on the responsible use of credit and the risks of credit use to prospective student customers.

The policy follows a similar one recommended earlier this year by student body presidents at regents institutions.

"I think it's a good policy in that it establishes a baseline for institutions," said Jonathan Ng, Kansas University's student body president. "It also gives institutions the option to strengthen the policy. It provides some flexibility."

It differs, however, from one favored by state university presidents that would have allowed each school to set its own policies.

State Rep. Rocky Nichols, D-Topeka, said was pleased with the regents' decision. Nichols and state Rep. Ralph Tanner, R-Baldwin, said last month that they would introduce legislation to completely ban credit card solicitations on campus if regents approved a policy that was too lenient.

That probably won't be necessary now, Nichols said.

"I'm feeling really good about the steps they've taken," Nichols said. "My position has always been that the regents universities police themselves on this, and that's what they're doing."

Tanner agreed.

"I think its reasonable," he said. "I commend them (regents) for moving toward the hope of the student group."

The regents allowed some leeway for financial institutions and universities with existing contracts that are contrary to the new policy. Those contracts will be exempt from the policy until they expire.

That would include the so-called "affinity" card contracts, such as Intrust has with the Kansas University Alumni Association, said Dick Carter, director of external relations for the regents. Once the contracts expire, affinity cards also would fall under the policy.

No one could be reached for comment at Intrust or the Alumni Association late Thursday afternoon.

Board member Bill Docking voted against the policy, along with Janice DeBauge and James Greer III. Docking said he favored allowing each university to set its own policies.

"Each university may be different," said Docking, who is president and chief executive of Union State Bank in Arkansas City. "In the overall sense, I think the policy should be broader and avoid micromanagement."

This year KU officials banned on-campus credit card solicitations about the time students began returning for the fall semester, from Aug. 15 to Sept. 3, while waiting to see what the regents would decide.

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