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Purchase to Cut Cable, Raise Housing Rates to Pay for Better Internet, Facilities Repairs

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

By Stephen DiFiore

Senators meet in the Presidential Conference Room in the Student Services Building.

During two meetings with PSGA officials, Purchase College Association Executive Director Patrick Savolskis proposed getting rid of campus cable services and Purchase College Chief Financial Officer Judith Nolan announced a 1.95 percent increase in housing rates for the next academic year.

Savolskis told the PSGA Student Senate that the college is looking into dropping cable services pending after a campus wide survey found that 98 percent of respondents do not use it. The school currently spends $207,300 each year on cable. Savolskis is proposing that some of this money be used to improve the school’s bandwidth and wifi.

Nolan said that she expects that improving bandwidth would cost in the vicinity of $80,000 based on preliminary discussions with Campus Technology Services, but that number could change as the plan becomes finalized.

Senator Emma Whitbeck (Olde) said that she supports better internet service but also that there should be options available for students who use cable service, such as those that want to watch the news, major sporting events, or other programs on cable.

Under Savolskis’ plan, students would be responsible for finding their own entertainment through streaming services.

Whitbeck said that “I don’t want want to pay $13 a month when I pay so much to go here.”

Savolskis said that separate cable plans cannot be done because “there’s no way to turn it on or off” for individual students.

Because the economy is shifting more towards streaming, Savolskis said that the PCA would look into streaming options for students. Senator and Senate Chair-elect Charlie Caspari (LAS) said that some of the money that will be saved by cancelling cable should be put toward streaming services if possible in order to provide an alternative to students, however, doing so would also slow down the school's bandwidth, and it is unclear which streaming service the school would want to provide that would accommodate as many students as possible.

On the other subject of costs and services, Nolan discussed next year’s room rate increase with some members of the Senate in an unofficial senate meeting. Nolan presented rate increase proposals ranging from a 1.95 percent increase to a 3 percent increase. She recommended the 1.95 percent increase of which the senators present largely approved.

The funds that would be raised by the increase would be put aside exclusively for housing needs, as is required of all housing funds. The new revenue would ensure that the school has a healthy supply of funds to more efficiently respond to housing and maintenance issues, such as larger-than-usual leaks that can occur during heavy rainstorms.

Nolan also announced other changes regarding housing funds. For example, the school will no longer be putting students in off-campus housing because the new Wayback dormitory is slated to open next semester, which should alleviate all concerns. 106 students were housed in the Doral Arrowood Hotel down Anderson Hill Road during this academic year, which ultimately cost the school approximately $1.6 million.

The addition of Wayback also means that the school can begin the process of “de-tripling,” turning converted triples back into doubles as they were originally designed. Converted triples are reportedly unpopular with residential students, according to senators.

Nolan also said that renovations to the Olde will occur during the summer, which will include new furniture and new flooring. This will be paid for with current funds and not with money from the rates increase, allowing for more money to be save for maintenance repairs.

“We’re going to really make [the Olde] look pretty,” Nolan said.



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