Student Senate is working with AT&T Inc. to bring increased reception to campus.
“We felt it is a big enough issue that is affecting enough students on campus that it was a worthy thing to get into,” said Senate Technology Services and Affairs Chairman Nick Swiatkowski. “Right now the administration has been working on behalf of the students and they are making a lot of progress in getting this done.”
However, the change won’t be made until early next school year.
“We are hoping to reach an agreement by the first quarter of next year,” Swiatkowski said. “That means that we are hopeful all this will be completely taken care of by this time next year.”
Despite the progress that is being made now, some students say the wait for AT&T service has gone on long enough.
“They say every year that the service is going to be improved but it never seems to happen,” said senior public relations major Janelle Crawford. “It’s the 21st century – everyone should have cell phone reception.”
As an AT&T customer, Crawford said she has run into many problems with not having service in many buildings on campus.
“It was worse when I lived in the dorms, but I still don’t get reception in most of the academic buildings,” she said. “I can walk all the way from Bradley [Hall] to the [Michel] Student Center and still not get service. That just doesn’t seem right.”
Swiatkowski served on the TSA committee before becoming the chairman and said this issue has been discussed in the past.
“Last year’s chair really got this started, and I wanted to continue with it when I was moved into this position,” he said. “Administration polled incoming freshmen before they came to Bradley and found that about 25 percent had AT&T.”
He said this percentage was enough to push senate into making a real effort to increase reception on campus.
Although senate has handed actual negotiations over to administrators, Swiatkowski said senate is ready to step in if the need arises.
He said several locations are being discussed, but the actual location for the receiver has yet to be decided.
“Right now it’s just about finding a suitable location on campus for AT&T to place the receiver,” he said.
Crawford said she thinks this should help improve a lot of student’s thoughts about AT&T in Peoria.
“We do live in something like the second largest city in Illinois outside of Chicago, so you would think AT&T would care about getting service in a city that size,” she said. “Hopefully after all this is taken care of people won’t have to switch from AT&T to something else when they come to college.”