Money – there’s never enough of it around when we need it the most. It’s not all that uncommon to reach the front of the line at the Tea Shop, the bookstore or any ticket window, only to realize that one is, at the time, completely strapped for cash. This problem may soon be remedied for members of the Mills community with the installation of a new ATM machine on campus.
According to Director of Public Safety Michael Lopez, the machine, which is being obtained from Bank of the West, is to be installed in Sage Hall and will hopefully be up and running before the beginning of the spring semester.
This building was chosen because it is open the latest of all buildings on campus. After hours and on weekends, Sage can be opened by a Public Safety officer. A card reader may be installed there along with the ATM for extra security.
This is not the first time an ATM has been available to Mills students and staff. There have been other machines on campus in the past, all of which have been removed.
“One of the ATM machines that I am aware of on campus was located in the passageway by the mailboxes, and it was vandalized,” said Kennedy Golden, associate dean of students at Mills. “My understanding is that … the financial institution that had provided the machine was unwilling to continue to fix or replace the machines.”
Golden said that is why the location of such a machine is also a critical factor in the decision. “If the machine is not placed inside a building where it can be monitored, we may well have vandalism issues again. However, if Mills is to place the machine in a building, it will be important that it is as available as possible to the community.” Thus came the decision to place the machine in Sage Hall.
“I think an ATM on campus would be an excellent thing,” said senior Alessandra Jacques. “It has always seemed so illogical and impractical that we don’t have one, as every single other college I have visited does. It would be really awesome if we got one.”
“I know many students who would love to have access to cash on the weekends, at night, or even just when the cashier is not open,” Golden said. “Although the Tea Shop, the Bookstore, Suzie’s and the Post Office will all take debit cards now, having cash in manageable amounts is always convenient for unplanned trips off campus or even for buying cookies at events or fundraisers.”
Golden also said she hoped that having the machines available will alleviate the need for students to carry larger amounts of money on their persons. She said she saw no downside to having an ATM on campus.
Golden also gave one final word of advice to the Mills community. “I really encourage everyone to use it once it is here, so we don’t lose it again, either to vandalism or to lack of usage.”