Number of campus pay phones dwindles; phone bills go electronic

The spread of cell phones had already made pay phones a rare sight on campus. Because of the tight budget, they're getting scarcer: Most of the last 38 will be replaced with courtesy phones by or during this fall.

The campus had more than 110 pay phones eight years ago. They once paid for themselves through usage fees. As cell phones became common, use of pay phones dropped, and they became an expense to the campus. Removing them saves money in a difficult budget year.

Some departments are keeping the pay phones in their buildings and will pay the cost. The rest will be replaced with courtesy phones that can connect with 911 and any campus number.

Meanwhile, to trim paper use and save money, campus phone bills now arrive electronically. The switch from paper began at the start of October, when subscribers received their eBills for August, September, and October. Telecommunications representatives from each campus department have been notified. Each bill will contain slightly more information than previously, now that paper consumption is not a consideration. Otherwise, the bill will essentially be the same as before.