A grassroots committee of student government that examined cellphone reception at University of Wisconsin found that Union South, Dejope Hall and athletic facilities need the most reception improvement through a campus-wide survey.
The Associated Students of Madison University Affairs Committee launched the Campus Safety Campaign last semester, which aims to increase cell service in campus buildings, residence halls and during Badger football games.
Committee member Callen Raveret, who leads the cellphone reception campaign, said the survey was sent to the entire campus and over 1,200 students responded through WiscMail.
Based on statistical analysis of the surveys, Union South, Dejope Residence Hall and the athletic facilities were ranked the highest for worst cell phone reception and amount of time spent in those locations.
Students who participated in the survey also said T-Mobile has basically non-existent cellphone service on campus.
The committee shifted its approach from targeting major cellphone carriers on campus to getting more student involvement and working with the university partnerships over the course of two semesters.
“Last semester we were in the process of gathering knowledge and information on how cellphone reception works on campus,” Raveret said. “The reason why we shifted tactics this semester is that we realized it’s a lot more difficult to try to work with international, multi-million corporates than working with the university that wants to help you.”
According to Grace Bolt, an ASM spokesperson, the committee decided Union South will be the main focus of the campaign because students spend the most time there and it has the worst cellphone reception.
Bolt said the reception problems at Union South will be addressed as an “in-building” problem. Union South is also the main target because Student Orientation, Advising and Registration is located in the building and the union receives high levels of alumni support.
The committee will be meeting with the building officials of Union South next week to develop the best approach to increasing cellphone service rather than adding cellular phone towers to the area, Bolt said.
“Students rely heavily on technology for safety,” Bolt said. “Overall, it appears that students in residence halls are extremely interested in this campaign.”
Students at outreach meetings at UW residence halls said cellphone reception has an effect on campus safety, according to Bolt.
The campaign’s goal for the end of the semester is to have support coming from the building administrations and have an educational presentation to contact people who can start to fix the issue of cell service on campus.
In addition to the cellphone reception campaign, the University Affairs Committee is also following a bus project, which introduces a live feed of bus schedules in the libraries and dorms.
Committee member Padydeh Doroodchi, who works on the bus project, said it would greatly improve campus safety, as students who are studying late would be able to see how long they need to be waiting.