Long distance calling removed from dorms

In an Aug. 26 all-campus e-mail, Director of Campus Life Doug Schiazza informed students that the College will no longer offer a long distance call option through wired room phones.

“The College has noticed a significant change in the way students use their room phones.” Schiazza said in his e-mail. “Specifically, the College’s long distance calling option and voicemail option have seen very low usage, and by only a handful of students.”

Diana Prideaux-Brune, associate vice president for Facilities, further elaborated that “last year possibly 28 people total” used the long distance option on wired room phones. “The process of paying was so cumbersome.”

For this reason, the College decided it was better to do away with the long distance calling service through room phones. The College’s contract with Comcast – the campus phone service provider – will stay the same and is not affected by the elimination of long distance calling option.

The decision was made after making sure that students would continue to have other long distance calling options like calling cards. Prideaux-Brune explained that the biggest concern was maintaining places on campus for students to access these phone cards.

Students have the option of buying calling cards online or at the Williams Newsroom on Spring Street. The College was also careful to make sure that students would be able to continue receiving phone calls and making emergency calls. Students can also still make local calls, including calls to other room phones, for free.

Student reactions to the change have shown concern but no significant effects on their lifestyles.

Elisa Chang ’11 said the change does not affect her because she only used her phone to receive calls from her father in Canada. The elimination of long distance calling does not affect her ability to receive calls.

Most students have not explored or needed to use room phones and rely on cell phones for communication.

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