Opinion: The NYU Daily Screener is redundant

There is no reason why we should have to show our Daily Screener and NYU ID to enter university buildings.


Manasa Gudavalli

The Daily Screener is a form developed by NYU to track the vaccination status of students and staff. However, given the information-carrying capacity of NYU ID cards, the Screener appears redundant and wastes people’s time. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Kevin Kurian, Opinion Editor

Despite NYU accepting the most diverse class in campus history, there are a handful of universal experiences among the student body that transcend race, gender and class. One of those experiences is the annoyance we all feel when we’re forced to show both our Daily Screener and our NYU ID when entering campus buildings. At face value, this may seem like a minor issue; but our student body is frustrated with this redundancy, and our voices should be heard. 

Created in response to COVID-19, the Daily Screener is a form that NYU students fill out to receive a “PASS,” “FAIL” or “LIMITED PASS’” based on their vaccination status — or, if they’re unvaccinated, the results of their Binx test. The Daily Screener results dictate whether they’re permitted to enter campus buildings. 

While filling out the Daily Screener is essential to the maintenance of campus health, being required to display it when entering campus buildings is superfluous. 

There is some sort of connection between our NetID and Daily Screener: a message is sent to our school email accounts after filling the latter out. Therefore, our student IDs can convey the results of our Daily Screener. Instead of requiring us to show our Daily Screeners to campus employees on our phones, the NYU administration should develop a system through which our status is visible whenever we scan our IDs to enter buildings. Our IDs can display our meal plans, Dining Dollar balances and personal information. Surely they can display proof of vaccination or the status of our COVID-19 tests, too. 

Little inefficiencies compound unto themselves and create issues that impact the entire student body. The massive lines to enter Silver and the dining halls are, in part, caused by the fact that campus employees are forced to check both our phones and IDs. The average American enjoys just over five hours of free time per day. If NYU adds our Daily Screener status to our ID results, they will allow every student more free time — a rare resource that dwindles with each passing day of the semester. 

It’s worth noting that NYU instituted a vaccine mandate to protect the health of our university community. Around 93% of our American student population and 72% of our international student body are fully vaccinated; that number rises every day as international students receive doses approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization, which may have been inaccessible in their home countries. Our rigorous culture of masking and NYU’s discretionary testing capacity further contribute to our safety on campus. Keeping our Daily Screeners and Student IDs separate, however, does nothing to protect our health.

It’s time to marshall the resources and innovative spirit of NYU to the benefit of every student. President Andy Hamilton and NYU leadership should direct the university to display our Daily Screener status through an ID scan as soon as possible.

Contact Kevin Kurian at [email protected].