Spouse, Domestic Parnership Card a thing of privelege

By Gus Bode

A Card of Privilege

With the Spouse/Domestic Partnership Card, spouses and domestic partners of SIU students have access to University benefits.

Factoid:Students who are interested in registering for the Spouse/Domestic Partner Card may contact Non-Traditional Student Services at (618) 453-5714.

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Steve Hafertepe wanted to take advantage of everything the Recreation Center had to offer, but he was not a SIU student.

However, as the husband of Emily Hafertepe, a junior in special education from El Salvador, Steve was eligible for the Spouse Domestic Partnership Card.

With the Spouse/Domestic Partnership Card, Steve Hafertepe was able to use the Recreation Center accompanied by his wife with a deposit of only two dollars.

I would give the people at the Rec Center about two or three dollars, and I even had a locker for a while, said Steve Hafertepe. They gave me some of the money back when I was leaving the Rec. I thought it was well worth it.

Paulette Curkin, coordinator of Student Development, said the Spouse/Domestic Partnership Card allows spouses and domestic partners not affiliated with SIU to gain access to campus activities and programs.

It is a way the University acknowledges spouses and partners, Curkin said.

The Spouse/Domestic Partnership Card provides many benefits.

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One such benefit is a Morris Library four-week loan courtesy card valid for six months for only $5.

The card also allows spouses and domestic partners of students to receive a 20 percent discount on individual single ticket prices for McLeod Theater Productions.

Steve Hafertepe said he enjoyed using the Student Recreation Center with his wife and their 11-year-old daughter. With his card, he was also able to use many different types of athletic equipment, including tennis rackets and basketballs.

If Emily enrolls for classes in the fall, I hope to get another card and do the same thing, Steve Hafertepe said.

Registration for the card is free to the student’s spouse or domestic partner, and Student Development sponsors the benefits.

To obtain a card, a student must present a valid student ID at the Student Development Office, located on the third floor of the Student Center.

The student must also complete a Request for Spouse/ Domestic Partnership Card form and sign the card in the presence of a staff member of the Non-Traditional Student Services.

Their spouse or domestic partner when registering for the card must accompany students.

To be eligible, an individual must be a spouse or a domestic partner of an active SIU student.

Married couples must provide a marriage license.

However, domestic partners pertain to same-sex couples only, and they must have documentation indicating a commitment.

There are certain criteria they have to meet, like a shared bank account, that they live together, that they appear on each other’s life insurance policies, Curkin said, things that indicate that because there is no legalized marriage, they have some kind of committed relationship.

Spouses and domestic partners of SIU faculty, staff and civil service employees are eligible for a similar card, but they must register with Human Resources.

If they ask me, I would encourage anyone, especially in Carbondale, to get a card if they can, said Steve Hafertepe, because it’s a real privilege and a nice thing to have.

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