Where the Phones Are – Friday, February 28, 1964

Dorm pay phones are a far cry from today's communication devices FILE PHOTO/THE FLAT HAT

Let’s face it. We all have our #WilliamAndMaryProblems and a steady stream of campus complaints. However, the next time you’re frustrated by the fact that you can hardly pick up a cell signal on your AT&T iPhone, imagine what college would be like if your smart phone was non-existent all together. This editorial published in 1964 details the woes of students who found the state of the pay phones in their dorms unacceptable. With a resounding theme of “this is why we can’t have nice things”, the author calls upon the College to better service and repair phones and students to treat dorm facilities with better care. Read the full story below.

By Flat Hat Editorial Staff

The telephone is one of the most important means of communication today. We learned this in the third grade. However, it appears that a few students at William and Mary still rely on smoke signals and have no regard for those “more mature” fellow students who did absorb their third grade lessons.

According to one college administrator, the College phones are in a “deplorable state.” Many students feel this is an understatement. For in several men’s dormitories most of the inter-dorm phones are no longer capable of serving the male inhabitants. The pay phones have been removed from from all but one of the men’s dormitories and now this remaining phone is regarded as something of a freak. Fortunately the condition is limited only to the men’s dorms.

This September every dormitory was equipped with working inter-dorm phones. Throughout the year, any telephone breaking resulting from purely mechanical failure was repaired by the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company – the firm which rents all phones to the College,

Yet, because of pure neglect and vandalism on the part of some students, many phones are beyond repair or just no longer exist. Dawson Dormitory, for example, has only one phone to serve its forty students when it should have three phones. The phones in Monroe are in such a poor state that discussion of them would more than fill this editorial.

This obvious deterioration lead one to ask a simple question: Why haven’t the phones been replaced?

The phone company is not about to replace phones every time a student feels like taking out his frustrations on the phone after he is shot down by that certain girl or after that Saturday night fling with the guys. Nor is the phone company about to accomodate those few students whose few hobby is collecting mouth pieces.

Let’s face facts. The phone company is a profit-making organization and cannot afford to run a deficit at the expense made by a few. The phone company is currently studying the phone system at William and Mary with the hopes of enlarging the system in order to accommodate more cals at one time. The care of the phones by students will play a large role in the commission’s final summation.

All we emphasize is this: let’s stop cutting out own throats. Unfortunately we have to let a few students prevent the effective use of an important service offered to all.


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