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No more cable in MC dorm rooms

Starting Jan. 1, Marietta College students will no longer be able to watch cable TV in their individual rooms, a sign of the times coming to other higher education campuses as well.

Tom Perry, vice president of communication and brand management for the college, sent out an email last week letting them know of the changes.

“There will still be more than 100 places to watch cable TV, such as the rec center, the weight room…most common areas,” he explained. “It will be just in places where people typically gather.”

Other locations that will maintain cable access are The Gathering Place and the Gilman Student Center.

He said the people who live on campus year-round will keep their cable connection.

“We are disconnecting 523 cable TV drops in residence hall rooms,” Perry said “We will be keeping 43, which are basically in lounges and other gathering places in the residence halls. We will also maintain another 68 cable TV connections that are not in residence halls.”

“We’re not the first school to do this,” Perry said. “Students coming in are much more accustomed to having streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.”

The college has been upgrading bandwidth and wi-fi over the last couple of years to provide students with connections to make their streaming services better.

“There’s been a strategic effort to improve the quality of service,” Perry added.

A Pew Research study from 2017 stated that approximately six out of 10 people between the ages of 18 and 29 mostly use streaming platforms for their video and TV watching.

This change has been discussed all semester and was mostly due to an online survey sent out earlier this year.

“The responses said that there was no strong feeling the students needed (cable access),” Perry explained.

That isn’t true for every student. Carsey Wilder, 19, of Huntington, W.Va., was busy packing up the car Friday morning for winter break and said he wasn’t happy with the loss of cable TV in his room.

“I watch cable every day,” Wilder said.

He said he enjoys watching sports in his room and is kind of upset the only way to watch cable sports is in a common area.

“Nobody wants to watch it there,” he said.

Much like losing landline phones in individual rooms, students will get used to it, Perry added.

“I know that in the fall of 2010, all single room phones were removed, while the resident advisors maintained a landline,” Perry explained. “Emergency call box phones were installed in the hallways. In the fall of 2012, all of the RA room phone lines were removed and the hallway emergency boxes remained.”

Most of the local universities still offer cable access in rooms, including Ohio University in Athens, Capital University and The Ohio State University in Columbus, and West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Other universities on the east coast that have cut their cable ties in the past few years include Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., Columbia University in New York, N.Y., Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Perry said a secondary reason to not offer cable access is the cost savings, which will be about $100,000 per year.

Wilder’s twin brother, Cleveland, was also busy packing for the drive back to Huntington. He said he didn’t care about cable access.

“Personally, I don’t watch it,” he explained. “As a freshman I did as there was a little less to do as an underclassman.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Cutting the cable ties:

• Marietta College will no longer offer cable TV in most individual rooms.

• Students were told last week of the change starting Jan. 1.

• There will still be more than 100 locations on campus that offer cable.

• The change was made after a survey showed most students were using streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Source: Tom Perry.

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