Time Warner Cable staff visits residence halls this week to offer cable TV upgrades

The housing department is considering adding cable as a normal dorm amenity.

Kevin McCahill

It is January, but this week Time Warner Cable will offer residence hall students a chance to do some surfing.

The company will have staff members at residence halls and apartments this week to offer students an upgrade to their cable service. Residence halls have only local stations but have the ability to add more.

According to Mannix Clark, assistant director for housing and residential life, students can sign up for cable at any time, but Time Warner Cable representatives are available in person this week.

Time Warner Cable offers a basic cable contract with 22 channels for $12 a month. The standard plan of more than 80 channels costs $48 plus tax each month.

There has been discussion of adding cable to all residence halls and apartments and adding it to the housing cost for fall 2006.

Clark said the housing department is still discussing the possibility. The issue also has been discussed at Housing and Residential Life advisory board meetings.

Past student surveys showed students were interested in cable in their rooms, but the University has not yet signed a bulk cable deal. Residence halls currently have lounges where cable TV is available.

Middlebrook Hall Director Tam Knapton said the residence halls aren’t involved in student cable contracts. She said residence halls don’t keep records of which students have cable and which don’t.

“It’s between them and Time Warner,” she said.

Time Warner representatives have been at Centennial, Comstock, Frontier, Middlebrook, Pioneer, Sanford, Territorial and Yudof halls since Saturday.

Ron Ness, sales supervisor for Time Warner, said the company has been working with the University for four years. He said a majority of students have a cable contract with the company and typically sign up for the standard cable package.

Although some might think they’re getting a special deal, Ness said, no special discounts are given to anyone, including students in residence halls.

But some people find their own deals.

First-year civil engineering student Brice Atkins said he signed up for cable and uses it often. He sometimes threatens to cancel the service, which causes the company to offer him a better deal, he said.

Other students said that with classes, work and studying, they don’t have time to watch TV enough to merit buying cable.

First-year computer science and music composition student Perry Hemmingsen said he doesn’t have time to watch TV during the semester.

First-year aerospace engineering student Nate Wittmers said, “I don’t have time and it’s too expensive.”