College reduces available television channels


Contributing Writer

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Allegheny Students may find that there is less to watch on TV this year after a decision was made to cut back the number of channels that are received in dorm rooms from 60 to 30. The channels that will no longer be available include ESPN, Comedy Central, FX, AMC, TNT and USA.

The reaction to the change on campus has been less than enthusiastic, especially in light of this year’s increase in room and board costs as well as increased tuition. Just this year the cost of room has increased by $210, board by $190 and tuition by $1,550.

“Room and board goes up, they should be adding channels if anything,” said Henry Ditzel, ’17.

Breana Gallagher, ’15, who has been a Community Advisor for two years voiced her opposition to the decision as she did not see it as in the best interest of her residents.

In a written statement, Gallagher voiced her concern that with the loss of many popular channels, students would turn to internet streaming to watch shows and movies, saying “It will be interesting to see if the internet at Allegheny can handle the possible increased usage for online tv programming.”

Ryan Travis, ’17, admitted that most of his television viewing is now through Netflix, but did voice some dissatisfaction in regard to wireless internet speed, due to the number of users on the network.

Gallagher also pointed out that television viewing can provide a safe outlet for students who do not wish to go out on weekends.

In a conversation with Andre Green, ’15, former ASG Senator and current co-director for the Student Life and Affairs Committee, and Director of Information Technology services (ITS) James Fadden,  it was revealed that the decision was largely based on a student survey conducted last year.

The Student Life Survey concluded that a majority of students at Allegheny do not actually use cable as their main source of entertainment. It revealed that internet streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, have become the go to for entertainment.

“Our decision was based on the students response,” Green said. Both Fadden and Green denied that money played any major role in the decision and stressed the cooperation that took place between ITS and the Student Life and Affairs Committee in making the decision.

When asked if this switch to online streaming would adversely affect the college’s wireless internet network, Fadden said, “Our system has the capacity to handle what we want it to do and then some,” pointing out that the current network peaked at only 400 MB last week, when it is capable of handling up to 500 MB of use.

Fadden also stated that the network is constantly monitored and the bandwidth is usually increased once a year, typically during the second semester, based on usage.

Though channel options have been limited within individual dorm rooms, all 60 channels should be available in common areas and lounges of residence halls.

“We saw it as a chance to build community among the people who live in each dorm building,” explained Green.

Fadden also stressed that students do have other options. If any student wishes to regain the use of all 60 channels they may call Armstrong Cable at 877-277-5711 and as long as they identify themselves as an Allegheny Student, they may make arrangements to receive all 60 channels for a cost of $6.00 a month. They may also purchase HD for $8.50 a month and there is even an option for DVR.

Fadden urged any students with questions or concerns to contact ITS or simply stop by Murray Hall.

“If there are students who wish to continue the conversation, I am happy to do that with any student,” Fadden said.

Both Fadden and Green expressed their concern that many unsubstantiated facts about the change have been circulating through word of mouth on campus. Both urged any students to direct any questions directly to ITS in Murray Hall or their website to ensure the most accurate information.