84° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

A TCU student reaches for a Celsius from a vending machine- a refreshing boost amidst a hectic day of lectures and exams. (Kelsey Finley/Staff Writer)
The caffeine buzz is a college student's drug
By Kelsey Finley, Staff Writer
Published Apr 18, 2024
College students seem to have a reliance on caffeine to get them through lectures and late night study sessions, but there are healthier alternatives to power through the day.

Companies should improve reception

Whether we’d care to admit it, a cell phone is a college student’s life.It is our connection to family, friends or perhaps the job offer we’ve been dreaming about.

However, limited or no reception can put a damper on one’s lifestyle.

A cell phone is mobile, so we should be able to call, text and e-mail wherever we go.

Therefore, phone carriers should go to more college campuses and work with the schools to provide, as they say, “more bars in more places.”

Travis Cook, director of business services, said Sprint and AT&T conducted a walk-through survey of signal strength throughout the TCU campus this month.

He called the survey the “cornerstone of the first step” in devising a plan to improve TCU’s overall reception.

Last year, TCU surveyed students asking which areas on campus had the worst reception and for which phones, Cook said.

He said Sherley and Colby halls, Mary Couts Burnett Library, the Sid Richardson Building and basements across campus were the places students listed as having little or no reception with T-Mobile users having the most complaints.

Once the companies discover which areas need more signal strength, they can work with the school to put up antennas, said Terri Robinett, telecommunications customer service representative for TCU.

Cook said phone carriers working with college campuses are “starting to become more and more of a common thing.”

Unfortunately, not all phone companies are getting the hint.

Phone companies should know the college market is huge and full of potential profit. These are the people who can speak fluent Internet slang and text 50 words a minute in their sleep.

The companies not reaching out to universities are only losing customers, money and vital opportunities.

Senior e-business major Rose Sulak said her roommate had a T-Mobile phone, but had very little reception and changed companies.

Switching companies can be difficult for students as well, especially out-of-state students.

Many have just started contracts with a carrier and others are in family plans.

“I’m in the family package, so I wouldn’t change unless the rates go down,” senior finance and accounting major Andrew Wilfred said.

Robinett said putting up antennas can be tricky because there are restrictions, and they have to be strategically placed. Giving all that decision-making to schools leaves room for errors and more possible problems. Cook said AT&T and Sprint are working with TCU throughout the process.

Robinett said AT&T is the company that TCU sponsors, but Verizon and Sprint also work well.

Freshman radio-TV-film major Christa Avery said reception on her Verizon phone is great.

“I’ve never had a dropped call,” Avery said. “I’ve never had problems.”

But what about the rest of us? Even those with AT&T or Sprint phones still have reception problems on campus.

Most students do not stay in their rooms often enough to use their room phone as their primary mode of communication. With classes, work, sports and extracurricular activities filling up their schedules, students need to be able to move freely as they make and receive calls.

Are we to flail our arms and press our heads against windows to get the tiniest flicker of reception?

Until all phone companies get the message, I guess we’ll have to.

Alyssa Dizon is a junior broadcast journalism major from Aiea, Hawaii.

More to Discover