Security phone installation scheduled

By Mark McGowan

A security phone system originally proposed in March 1988 is tentatively scheduled to be installed at the end of the month.

Pat Hewitt, assistant to the vice president of budget and planning, said Motorola Corp. will probably begin installing the system Sept. 30.

The money was obligated last spring, Hewitt said. Money was borrowed from the parking division funds to put the “process in motion.” The money is being reimbursed through student fees.

Hewitt estimated the total cost of the system to be near $77,000, of which parking division money is still paying a portion. The sum covers the purchase of the system, 17 phones and labor costs.

The bid was opened during the summer as funds traveled through purchasing to the university legal counsel, which sent a purchase order to Motorola Corp. Hewitt said Motorola will be paid after the work is completed.

Huda Scheidelman, student association president, said the phone system was approved by a student referendum last fall, and sent through the “bureaucratic channels of this university.”

Scheidelman said the process “took too long. It should have been processed by the beginning of summer. It’s a good example of bureaucracy.”

Hewitt said the delays came in writing the contract and finding a financing mechanism. “We couldn’t even order the phones until student fees were found,” she said.

Legal counsel had to review the contracts with regard to whose people (Motorola’s or the university’s) would do the installation, Hewitt said.

The phones will be placed on light poles near the residence hall parking lots, and will run from power supplied by the light pole batteries. The project has been delayed while more light poles were being installed, as directed by the president’s request for more lighting.

The system was initiated by SA Sen. Lisa Gunn in March 1988, based on her experiences at San Jose State University where a security phone system was in operation.

Since the student fee covering the phones is a one-time fee, Hewitt said the only problem reimbursing the parking division money might have been a reduction in student enrollment.