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Cartmel and Lonsdale colleges have both announced that they will be removing the telephones from their rooms on campus. This is part of a larger decision by the University to update its telephone system from analogue to digital – at a cost of over 1 million pounds – by upgrading all internal phones in the 7000 bedrooms on campus. This upgrade has been deemed necessary due to the age of the current phones, which will not last much longer.
There have been some discussions regarding a proposal to put just one phone in each block of accomodation, yet, due to the location of Cartmel and Lonsdale being a part of campus which suffers from poor signal, many students feel that this is not enough.
Lydia Hollingshead, a third year from Lonsdale College, found it hard to understand the changes. She questioned the reasoning behind the phones being removed, asking, “How are we to call the porter without internal phones?” Whilst a student from County stressed that they “[knew] that [they] are supposed to call 999 through the porters in case of an emergency so they can direct and ambulance or police to the exact building, what do [they] do in this situation with no internal phones?”
Dan Wilder, Service Director of Nightline, is worried about the impact that this decision will have on Nightline, as many students will no longer have a way to access this service privately from their rooms, given the poor mobile signal across much of southwest campus. He stated, “I’ve recently heard that the University is planning to remove internal phones from student rooms on campus. As Service Director of Nightline, it really saddens me to hear this. Nightline is one of the essential student welfare services for Lancaster students, providing a listening ear and helpful information overnight when most other welfare services aren’t so accessible. The ability for people living on campus to access this service for free and in the relative ease and privacy of their own bedrooms using the internal phones is something we have really benefited from in ensuring that we are within easy reach of most new students to Lancaster. The loss of such a connection could really impact upon this accessibility, potentially limiting the service we offer.”