Kiss Your Dorm Phones Goodbye

Around late morning today, Michael Roy, the Dean of LIS announced by e-mail to the student body the total elimination of … (drum roll, please) telephone services in residence halls! In an effort to save some extra dollars – in fact, tens of thousands of dollars – the College pronounced the extinction of telephone services in all residence hall dorm rooms as of January 1, 2010.


The rationale? Simple: students that are unable to fulfill their social needs with a home phone go out and purchase prefer mobile phones to stationary ones. Home phones sit around doing nothing, wasting the College’s money and the phone company’s electricity (landlines require some to operate). To put our tuition money to better use during these rough times, the College decides to remove “active lines and phones [in] every student room.”

The LIS reports that “on a typical day, only around 300 incoming calls and just 120 outgoing calls are placed to or from student phones across campus.” However, in case there might be an “exceptional need” for a student to retain their dorm phone, the e-mail asks to fill out a form at this website by Sunday, November 15. The College promises to implement at least one public phone per floor in each residence hall this winter.

Frankly, that’s not a lot of calls made/received. I will bet you my cell phone winter coat that every year, more than half of the students in Middlebury College never even touch their dorm phones. All in all, the LIS is right about “the impact of this change [being] minimal,” unless you’re me last semester when I didn’t have a cell. I used my dorm phone for socializing to … a good amount of success.

Middblog wants to know: How have you used your dorm room phones, if ever? How do you think it will impact your life and the College experience? How would parents react to this? Will your friends be able to give you morning calls anymore?


8 thoughts on “Kiss Your Dorm Phones Goodbye

  1. I wouldn’t know my kid’s number, let alone bet a winter coat he’d answer it if I called it.

    One phone per hall is exactly what we had in the dark ages of the 70’s and this was long long before there was even the concept of cell phones!

    Money well saved. Should have happened at the beginning of the year.

  2. Some of the incoming calls are most likely telemarketing robots, as well.

    My folks are in VT, so they can call me on the land line at no cost. Even though I don’t have a cell phone, my friends from other colleges can call me on their cell phones and talk for as long as they want. I’ve found having a phone in my room extremely handy.

    Since I actually utilize the land line quite a lot, I’m glad that the College has, at the very least, allowed us to appeal to keep our dorm phones. That being said, I’m obviously in the minority, so this move makes sense.

    I’d like to see the “thousands of dollars” that we are saving with this move go directly to students’ financial aid. There’s no need to tell me that it won’t happen-just a rhetorical aside.

    In any event I have performed the proper sacrifices to appease the Budget Cuts god and await my fate!

  3. one of the first things i did at move in was unplug the landline phone and throw it into the closet. it was just a waste of desk space.

  4. When I was a freshman (wow, I really didn’t mean to start out that way…it was only six years ago!) everyone used their dorm phones for everything, including socializing. I remember at the beginning of sophomore year when I saw a couple freshmen carrying their cell phones around on a Saturday night and calling friends at other parties. “Lame,” I thought at the time. sigh. so naive.

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