Billboards across town promote the university as being “ahead of the curve.” It is time to apply that attitude to the campus communications system.
Some universities are eliminating landlines in dormitories to cut costs. University officials have asked students, faculty and staff to find ways to tighten the belt. What better way to save money than to eliminate landlines in dorm rooms and campus apartments, where they have become negligible?
Travis Cook, the university’s director of business services, said the university’s 2,200 telephone ports each cost $14.09 per month. The cost of maintaining those landlines adds up to nearly $124,000 per semester. That is money that could be directed to financial aid or other campus needs. Officials said landlines are being kept for safety concerns, considering that emergency authorities are limited in their ability to track a cell phone call on campus. However, most students mainly use their cell phone to make calls and do not remain in their dorm room all day, meaning that in case of an emergency they would likely call from a cell phone anyway.
The university is aware of the magnitude of cell phone usage. Although landline ports are enabled, the university no longer requires that students set up a landline or a voice mail in their dorm room. It also implemented the TCU ALERT system to send e-mails and text messages to students in case of an emergency.
If the university is clearly at the cutting edge of technology, why not admit that dorm landlines are simply not pragmatic anymore? It’s time to pull the plug.
Web editor Julieta Chiquillo for the editorial board.