Bus VCRs, TVs meet with approval

By Caryn Rosenberg

One VCR and six TV monitors installed on an NIU bus have received a positive response, leading the way for others to be put into use.

The NIU Transportation Department purchased 12 monitors and two VCRs earlier this year to install on two NIU buses.

One of the buses already has been equipped with six monitors and a VCR, but NIU Transportation Manager Bill Finucane said he wanted to wait until he was able to test the reliability of the equipment already installed before putting it on a second bus.

“So far there haven’t been any problems,” Finucane said. “We’ll probably install the others (monitors and VCRs) at the end of this month.”

Although Finucane previously said the equipment was installed in response to demands made by several groups, he did not indicate the use of the equipment by any other group besides athletics.

Finucane said the NIU baseball team has used the equipped bus and has given a positive response.

“The baseball team used it a couple of times and everything in there worked just fine,” Finucane said.

NIU head baseball coach Joe McFarland said the equipment has proved very helpful for the team.

“We don’t have a locker room, and we don’t have any video equipment at all,” McFarland said.

He said the video equipment gives the players a chance to view themselves and their games.

“I think it was a very good investment,” McFarland said. “It is very beneficial both as a teaching tool and a way to kill some time. During our spring trip we traveled eight, nine or 10 hours at a time, and I have to admit, we watched some other movies.”

Columbia Video Systems of Highland Park, Ill., supplied the equipment for roughly $5,000. The Transportation Department is covering the cost of the TVs, the VCRs and the installation, and groups renting the buses pay an additional charge if they choose to use the equipment.

Finucane said the final cost has not been determined yet.

“Until we get all the pricing done, we’re charging an extra $10 a day,” Finucane said. “We should have set prices by the fall.”