Dorm phones considered for removal

Dorm phones considered for removal

Living and Learning Center resident Gary Swope uses his cell phone while his land line is idle.

Nathan Bottiger, Editor-In-Chief

Finance and Administration Vice President Amy Buxbaum said there is an issue is whether telephones properly serve the student body.

“We have been noting the decreased usage of residential phones over a number of years,” she said.

“This summer we began taking a harder look at whether this is really a useful service to students.”

Buxbaum said during their investigation, they found that a majority of residential phones were not operational.

Buxbaum said the lack of operation was attributed to a technical issue during the 2013 summer.

“We didn’t know about the problem because we did not receive a single complaint from the impacted rooms over the course of the entire (following) academic year.”

Buxbaum said the determination of low usage was based on the number of students who used long distance plans and enabled  voicemail on the phones.

Buxbaum said, after speaking with some students, they described the phones as additional clutter.

Junior Gary Swope said his residential phone is sitting in the cabinet beneath the phone jack.

Swope said it was easier to remove it since he and his roommate do not use the phone.

He said the only time he used the phone was when he tried to call his friend, testing to see whether the phone would work.

“(It worked, but), the number on my friends phone didn’t match the room, so it ended up calling a phone down the hall.”

Swope said he would rather see improvement on the connection between the campus’ server and video game consoles.

He said the current method of connecting a console into a computer then to the Internet is annoying and cumbersome. He said  he would appreciate a better way of connecting his Xbox to the server before hanging onto the residence phones.

Junior Ashley Jackson said she also doesn’t use her residence phone.

“I never plugged mine in,“ she said. “I just stored it in the room somewhere.“

Jackson said she doesn’t really see the point in having residence phones. She said there doesn’t seem to be a practical use.

“Everyone has a cellphone or an email. There really is no need for them.“

Buxbaum said the goal for removing the phones is not to save money, but to reallocate funds toward better serving students.

Buxbaum said administrators are researching alternatives for the residential phones, one of which may be aimed toward improving cell phone service in buildings.

“We have received numerous inquiries about improved cell reception, and we are exploring the best options to address this.”

Although it seems most students own cellphones and depend on their phones, there may be some who do not.

Buxbaum said she believes students place more importance in cell phone service anyway, but increasing cell phone service would not mean the end of residential phones altogether.

“Our goal is to put resources into services that will be most beneficial to students,” she said.

“If we decide to proceed with removing the phones this year, we will give students the ability to request (that they keep) their residential line.”