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It’s the card that literally opens doors, and all registered BU students get one. By swiping their BU Terrier Cards, they gain access to dining halls, residence halls, and FitRec. They can use their card to check out library books from Mugar, and those who buy convenience points can use their cards for purchases at the GSU, dining halls, and City Convenience stores with the card. Students can flash the card for free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. And they can show the card to claim student discounts at certain stores, including Vineyard Vines and J.Crew.

So, when students lose their card, it’s a problem—a very common problem. Marc Robillard, Auxiliary Services executive director of housing and dining, says his department issues about 3,000 replacement cards every year. The record holder, he says, lost his card 11 times over the course of his undergraduate career. Replacing the card costs $40.

Bill Politis can be reached at