Problems with the cost and location of the old ATM, which was located in a Rothwell hallway, led the college to purchase a new machine.
“The ATM costs $18,000 a year and in the past year the ATM was used less than 500 times,” Jasmine Abele, Associated Students of Mills College historian, said about the old ATM in Rothwell, which has now been removed.
Abele explained that high user fees and an inconvenient location across from the Parenting Lounge inside Rothwell prevented the old machine from being used more frequently.
“The reason why students don’t currently use the ATM is because of the fee,” Abele said. “And some people are unaware that we have an ATM, because of where it is located.”
According to Abele, the old ATM, which was owned by Bank of the West, charged users upwards of $4, depending on which bank that person used. The new machine, which is not affiliated with any bank, is expected to help cut costs for both Mills College and ATM users.
“The user charge will only be $1 per transaction plus whatever the person’s own bank charges, which is much better than the current machine,” said Interim Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jamie Nickel in an email. “This new arrangement will save the college the $18,000 a year we’ve been paying.”
ASMC’s decision to install a new ATM followed a discussion sparked by a student’s letter that asked the ASMC why there wasn’t an ATM from a more popular bank available on campus.
“I have had multiple conversations with the finance department at Mills (and) have asked ASMC for input and had a meeting with the student services department and the finance department together to go over options for the ATM,” said Amelia Lopez, ASMC President.
Lopez also explained that a non-bank affiliated ATM was chosen to keep costs low for everyone.
“We asked for the lowest fee to all students rather than a bank that charges nothing to its own users but a high fee to everyone else,” Lopez said.
Many members of the Mills community are glad for the lowered fee and the central location of the new machine.
“Now that I see this one that’s $2 cheaper, I’m quite pleased,” said Lisa Gray, a former graduate student who now works for the Institute of Civic Leadership. “It’s definitely more convenient.”