Telephone, cable television, ResNET services to be provided to all students in University housing.
Telephone, cable television, ResNET services to be provided to all students in University housing.March 20, 2003Mark Owczarskimaowczar@syr.edu
Beginning with the Fall 2003 semester, telephone, cable television and ResNET services will be provided to all students living in Syracuse University housing.
To cover the cost of these services, each student living in University housing will be charged a $150 per semester communications fee. Through this arrangement, students will receive these services together at a significantly lower cost than what they now pay on an individual subscription basis.
“Not only will students be able to save money, they also will have a lot less to worry about,” says telecommunications director Ronald Kurdziel. “When students move into their residence hall room or South Campus apartment in the fall, their phone line, ResNET connection and cable television hookup will all be ready to use. They won’t have to go through the hassle and confusion of signup and installation, and they won’t have to worry about paying monthly bills, collecting money from roommates and shutting off services at the end of the school year. I think it will be a convenience students will value.”
Under the current system, a student and roommate each pay approximately $500 per year to have all three services. Under the new plan, each student would save approximately $200 per year.
Kurdziel added that the communications fee will be included in the overall cost of attendance and therefore be considered in determining eligibility for financial aid.
The change to a single communications fee came following a year-long review involving input from Telecommunications, Computing and Media Services, Residence Life, Student Affairs and hundreds of students who responded to a survey on the subject last spring. The majority of students responding to the survey supported the “bundling” concept because the many financial and personal advantages outweighed the potential disadvantages.
“A drawback to this fee is that students who do not want some or all of these services would not be able to make that choice,” says Kurdziel. “Everyone who lives on campus will get all three services and will pay the fee. However, since most students currently chose most of these serves, the majority of students will see significant savings.”
Over the past year, SU has negotiated bulk service agreements with telephone and cable television vendors. Savings generated from these deals will be passed on to students.
In addition, the University’s agreement with Time Warner Cable will give the university exclusive use of two channels on the 74 channel residential lineup. Students who wish to subscribe to premium cable television services can do so at their own expense.
Of the three services offered, ResNET is the most widely utilized by students. At present, 80 percent of all on-campus students subscribe to ResNET, a percentage that continues to grow each year. Approximately 60 percent of students currently living in University housing subscribe to cable television and approximately 40 percent of all residence hall rooms and South Campus apartments have local phone service.
“While more and more students now have cell phones, there are many advantages to having a permanent phone line in each room,” says Kurdziel. “Students will be able to make all on campus and local calls at no additional cost, and parents and friends can always place calls to a student’s room. Having a phone line in each room adds an element of safety since you can always reach 911 and 711 emergency services and the Department of Public Safety. And many of the issues that you have with cell phones such as, ‘no service,’ ‘low battery’ or ‘can you hear me know’ do not exist with land line phones.”
Students who wish to make long distance calls from their room will receive a Personal Billing Number that they can use with PaeTec, the University’ long distance provider. Calls made this way will be billed separately to each student. Students also have the option to use toll free and calling card options to place long distance calls. Voice Mail services will be available through the Telecommunications Department.