The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Dorm phones will be removed for fall 2006

Becky Hogan | Thursday, April 6, 2006

Beginning this fall, on-campus students will have to pay for room phone services in their residence halls – a change that accompanies the University’s current dorm rewiring project.

Jeffery Shoup, director of the Office of Residence Life and Housing, said in the wake of the University’s recent rewiring project, room phones tend to be used less frequently.

“When we started to look at the rewiring project and the services that would benefit students, [we found that] most students weren’t setting up their voicemail or using their [room] phones,” he said,

The Office of Residence Life and Housing, the Office of Information Technologies and the Office of Student Affairs came to a consensus decision to remove physical room phones.

Shoup said a dorm phone service would be available to students for a fee. Additionally, students who purchase the service will have to provide their own phone set.

Sophomore Sarah Runger uses her room phone once a week at most. As a result, she said she would probably not pay for the phone service.

Currently, residence halls provide each room with one phone and on-campus calls can be made for free. However, an $84 phone fee per semester is worked into tuition costs.

The Office of Student Accounts Web site said the cost of the optional phone service would be $161 per semester for the 2006-07 academic year – a figure that nearly doubles the cost of the current phone service.

Sophomore Brendan Gorman said he uses his room phone about twice a week. While he will likely not pay for the service next year, he said the change is unfair to students who do use their phones.

“I think it’s a shame that the University is going to [remove dorm phones] because I know that is one way a lot of students communicate with other students on campus,” he said. “I don’t have all my friends’ numbers in my cell phone, but it is easy to look up their dorm phone [if I need to call them].”

Shoup said some house phones will be placed in the hallways of residence halls for students who do not have cell phones or who do not want to pay for the new phone service. Students will be able to make local calls on these phones in addition long-distance calls, if they have pre-paid calling cards. These phones will not be available to receive calls.

An e-mail will be sent out to students to ask them whether they would like to purchase the phone service for their room, Shoup said.