The Arizona Desert Lamp

End of the line

Posted in Campus by Connor Mendenhall on 14 October 2008
Typical Friday evening at Az-So.

A typical Friday evening in AZ-So.

Here’s a white-paper worthy idea for “these volatile times”—stop paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for landline phones that students hardly use. From Ars Technica:

Ah, the college years. We look back fondly on the nervous rush of the freshman ice breakers and all those free local calls from our dorm rooms, not to mention the old-fashioned phones and the 20¢ a minute long distance. But, come next year, students at Iowa State University won’t be able to cherish any campus telecom memories of their own—unless they pay up.

Starting fall 2009, ISU will no longer provide local phone lines to dorm rooms by default, according to local paper Students who want a line will have to pay up, but ISU’s Department of Residents will shift the $700,000 saved with this move towards taking the dorms wireless, a project estimated to cost $6-$9 million.

UA is roughly the same size as Iowa State, so—other things equal—it might reap similar savings from eliminating local phone service. Plus, I’d imagine many students would prefer retaining a professor to keeping their clunky landlines. Back in my dorm days, my roommate and I shared a cordless Vtech that tended to shriek in the darkest hour of our Saturday morning post-party convalescence. In fact, the Residence Life rules required us to install one. Alas, the only folks who ever called were a horde of telemarketers and one irate UAPD detective, none of whom I was especially eager to chat with. For my part, I would have gladly let someone disconnect it.

Of course, savings could even be passed on to students, as either a rent reduction (yeah, right!) or by using the spare change to pay for something else—like offsetting part of the $65 technology fee that President Shelton levied last year.

The only objection I see, save for obstinate landlinelubbers, is safety—a problem Iowa State solved by installing emergency phones on every floor. But hell, once Project Crime Stop gets rolling, students may never need 911 again!

One Response

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  1. The Arizona Desert Lamp said, on 25 March 2009 at 1:07 pm

    […] We’ve explored several ideas for increasing quality without affecting price, decreasing price without affecting quality, and doing both with the Michigan model. In the long term, the university […]

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