Students with poor cell phone service or no cell phone at all should act fast, because by next summer, land lines in residence hall rooms will be cut.
“[In-room land lines] aren’t used a great deal,” Associate Provost for Information Resources and Technology Chuck Ruch said. “We believe that 99 percent of the students here have cell phones and very few use the phones in their rooms these days.”
Ruch said the university installed phones in the hallways on every floor during the summer as an alternative to individual room phones.
“The phones in the halls can be used for local calls,” he said “If someone needs a phone line, it’s not being taken away … they can be used for emergency purposes.”
Eliminating individual room phone service will cut costs, Ruch said. But it’s difficult to estimate the savings right now, since the installation of hall phones is part of the overall project to eliminate room phone service.
“These costs [of the hall phone installation] have to be recovered before any real savings are realized,” he said
A few students said they didn’t have phones hooked up to their dorm room lines.
“My roommate and I decided not to bother with one,” said freshman nursing major Jordan Cross. “We both have cell phones so we thought it was a waste.”
But others, such as Resident Advisor Cortney Dammeier, said students should have an option to keep their phone lines.
Dammeier said resident hall staff use their room phone lines often.
“I like to give my room phone number out to residents and not my cell, so people don’t call me at 3 or 4 a.m. even if I’m not on campus,” she said.
Assistant Resident Advisor Erin Harrison said she agreed, adding that ResLife staffers aren’t the only ones who use the lines.
Harrison said the in-room lines benefit those calling numbers with 309 area codes, since local calls are free. The lines also help those with AT&T wireless service.
“My roommate last year had to use a calling card and our dorm phone line because she had AT&T and didn’t get any service in the building,” Harrison said.
Ruch said the installation of an AT&T cell tower will help ease the transition, and he hopes the tower will be installed early next year.
Bradley isn’t the first school to cut phone service to dorm rooms.
“Many schools are no longer even running phone wires into residence halls,” Ruch said.
The University of South Dakota recently announced it would cut dorm lines after it found that more than 80 percent of students didn’t use the lines.
At the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, service to dorm phone lines was discontinued this past summer. Students must pay a fee to activate the line in their rooms.
Iowa State University started charging students for local phone lines this past fall as well after finding that over half of students weren’t using the lines and over 95 percent have cell phones.
Ruch said the room lines were “heavily used” until about seven or eight years ago. While local calls have always been free for students, the university sold long-distance minutes for nine cents a minute.
Selling long-distance minutes was a revenue generator, Ruch said. But the use of long-distance calling on room phones decreased so much that the cost of maintaining and paying for the service was greater than the revenue generated.