Proposition for pre-paid cells in res halls on hold

A student resolution to bring pre-paid cell phones for students to use in residence halls has been put on hold.In response to the current initiative to eliminate landline phones for the 2009-2010 school year, the Student Government Association (SGA) attempted to pass a resolution supporting the use of pre-paid cell phones in residential halls.According to the resolution, students would have the option to sign out a pre-paid cell phone at their residential desk for a period of time.The SGA decided not to pass the resolution. However, it sparked controversy among the association.”I’m a cell phone guy at Best Buy and I have a few issues with this,” senator Mike Glynne said during the SGA meeting. “Pre-paid phones are actually not cheap. You’re going to put a bigger burden on the University than help them.”There are numerous disadvantages to pre-paid cell phones, Glynne said. They receive their service from other cell phone towers, the conversations can be heard on two-way radios and the minutes expire after 90 days.”Pre-paid phones can be hacked very easily,” Glynne said. “Privacy gets thrown out the door. I think it would be better to try to have a plan than pre-paid.”Last spring, 96 percent of students claimed that they owned a cell phone, Residential Director Stacey Miller said. Because of this, the pre-paid cell phones would mainly be focused for emergency situations, such as international students who don’t necessarily have access and those who cannot afford their own cell phone.”They do have this at other schools,” SGA senator and IRA President Bob Just said.One of Residential Life’s current ideas is to have a phone in each dormitory common area.”It would be a little awkward and a little intimidating,” Viadero Lopez said. “You could hear their whole conversation.”UVM freshman Britney Alvarado got a landline phone after accidentally dropping her cell phone in the toilet.”It never seemed to work,” Alvarado said. “I’d use the pre-paid cell phones. If it’s easy access to get them, it would be better to use them instead.”But, for now, SGA senators do not see the need for the phones.”Logistically, I don’t think it’s the way the University should be going,” Glynne said.