Sucking on students: The cable company

Including cable costs in housing fees is a lose-lose situation for most students.

As soon as next fall, Housing and Residential Life may have finished the process of including cable television into the housing fee.

The plan is to work with Time Warner Cable to purchase cable for all the residence halls. The purchase in bulk is likely to significantly lower costs for students who think the current price is too expensive. Students wouldn’t have to hassle with setting up cable access at the beginning of the semester or deal with the monthly bills.

However, the problem is that not all students want cable TV in their dorm room. The residence halls already have lounges with cable TV the residents can use whenever they please. Housing costs that range from $1,838 to $2,409 a semester are already barely affordable options for students. Along with living in the dorms, students are required to purchase a meal plan that ranges from $529 to $1,614 a semester, something they are forced to choose before they even get to school and know what the food will be like or how often they will want to eat. It sounds a lot like this new cable deal. Right now, students who want the service can pay $52 a month for full cable; this is the same price off-campus students pay.

Many students do take advantage of this but complain the cost is still too high ” and with good reason. Because Time Warner is the only cable company available to residents, the company should already be giving residents a better deal on the service even without a bulk purchase from Housing and Residential Life. They are getting a huge amount of business, are offering a flat price and have zero competition to this clientele. Knocking the price down would allow more students to afford and be satisfied with it, and this could give Time Warner more business. Students who don’t want cable could still save their money. Instead of trying to work toward a bulk cable price for all residents, Housing and Residential Life should work with Time Warner to lower the cost for all, because they are getting all the business anyway.