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SMC students experience teaching

Teresa Nowakowski | Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Students reported several incidents of malfunctioning ATM machines on campus over the Super Bowl weekend, reporting they were unable to withdraw money from them.

The malfunctions were reported to have occurred in Reckers, LaFortune and North Dining Hall, primarily on Saturday, although the exact extent of the malfunctions is unknown.

These problems were not part of a planned outage, nor were they part of a system-wide problem, said to Wade Yoder, vice president and chief information officer at the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union.

“The outages were just a set of coincidences, since we don’t schedule maintenance on the weekends, and we received no notice that there was a larger outage,” Yoder said.

According to Siegfried freshman Matt Brannon, the malfunctions were a large inconvenience.

“I just wanted to get my money out, and I couldn’t, which really annoyed me,” he said.

Brannon said he attempted to use the North Dining Hall ATM on Saturday and the lower LaFortune ATM on Sunday. Both times, the machines displayed messages saying the transactions could not be completed, despite the fact he had adequate funds in his account.

“It looked the same as it always does, but then it was giving me errors,” Brannon said.

The credit union hires a maintenance company to provide immediate service to each ATM if it should malfunction, Yoder said.

“The machines are all set up automatically, so that if anything goes wrong with them, they call the service line and a service crew is sent out within two hours,” Yoder said. “If it were to take longer than two hours, we would get a call.”

No such call was received this weekend, and Yoder said that, in quickly looking through his logs, the only thing that immediately attracted attention was one ATM that had a card jammed in it. Yoder said one machine in LaFortune has been having trouble with its receipt printer and that may have been a problem as well.

“That receipt printer has been giving us trouble,” Yoder said. “It’s old and needs to be replaced.”

In addition to these two possibilities, there is one caveat that may have trapped some students. Yoder said the maintenance company does not make service calls after 10 p.m. until the next morning. Thus, some students may have attempted to use the machines after service hours, especially on Saturday evening.

Further analysis of ATM logs as to the specific causes of the outages was unavailable, but Yoder expressed confidence in the maintenance company and quoted the uptime of the machines across campus as being from 98 to 99 percent.

“We’ve been able to increase the uptime of the ATMs drastically … which really only makes it easier for students, faculty and staff to use the machines when they need to,” Yoder said.

The credit union maintains 11 ATMs in a variety of locations on campus and regularly reevaluates where machines should be placed. As part of this, two ATMs were moved from the football stadium to the Joyce Center this year at the conclusion of the football season. The ATM in the Hammes Bookstore is also slated to be moved up to the front foyer from its current location.