After two years without an ATM, plans are in the works to secure one for campus.
Roger Ono, Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs and Human Resources, is in charge of the task. The big question, according to Ono, is with whom Mills can get an affordable contract
According to Ono, Mills has three options. The first is to have a third party set up an ATM, the second is to sign a contract with a bank and the third is to have the college buy the equipment and run it privately.
Ono said the problem with third parties is they may charge an expensive premium to set an ATM up because of the risk of it being vandalized.
Banks, on the other hand, are not worried about the risk, but can charge up to $15,000 and an additional monthly fees depending on the number of transactions.
In order for Mills to run an ATM privately, it would have to be maintained by the school, Ono said.
The ATM would have to be loaded with cash daily and someone would have to monitor transaction levels so that the school would not pay extra service fees.
“It is really a matter of economics,” said Ono. “It would be difficult to free enough cash to make it happen.”
Apart from the problem of economics, said Ono, lies the problem of location.
Previously the ATM machine was located on Suzanne Adams Plaza across the post office. That was not the safest place to put a machine which ” holds $5,000-$10,000 in cash,” Ono said.
The goal is to ” find a secure place on campus successful enough to do students good,” he said. “I’d like it in a lit area where it would be less likely to be vandalized.”
The last ATM on the Mills campus was removed after it was broken into several times. Currently the only options students have to get cash on campus are from the bookstore, where students can withdraw $5 with a purchase, from the post office and from the cashier’s office. The cashier’s office, open from 10a-noon and 2pm-4pm weekdays, can cash out a personal check $50 or less.
“It’s a bummer. $5 isn’t really enough to eat and the cafeteria doesn’t take ATM,” said sophomore Sandra Belanger.
“I don’t know why we have so many nice privileges like a post office, but don’t have an ATM ,” said senior Tracy Edwards. “It’s a hassle and I feel bad asking the bookstore and post office for money.”