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ATM gets new home in rec center

February 25, 2011

By Sara Bottinelli, Staff Writer

Of 100 students surveyed, 61 students believed that the ATM's move from the Myers Student Center to the recreation center was inconvenient. Graphic by Kelley Lyness

At the beginning of the 2010-11 academic school year the familiar home of our ATM was located in the bottom portion of the Myers Student Center, making it available to everyone at any point during the day.

Since then, the ATM has been moved to the new Recreation Center, which has caused some form of frustration for many students. Students have questioned why their ATM has been moved from a convenient location halfway across campus.

A poll was taken to find out an accurate percentage of how many students felt it was an inconvenience for the ATM to be located in the Recreation Center today. Sixty-one percent answered “yes”, while 39 percent answered “no.” Those who answered yes felt strongly that the ATM served them much better in the student center.

One of the biggest issues students have encountered since the move is that the Recreation Center is not a 24-hour facility, while the Student Center was.

Cody Craft, a junior history major from Elberton, also feels the hours of the Recreation building to be a major setback.

“Having the ATM in the Recreation Center is a huge inconvenience for students, especially if they want to withdraw money after the center closes,” Craft said. “You never know when you might need money especially in emergency situations.”

The ATM has been provided by United Community Bank, which is the main local bank in the area. When asked why they gave authorization for the move their response was that the school had requested it specifically. Shelia Parton, AVP of Electronic Banking at UCB, answered the question.

The recreation center houses the campus ATM. Photo by Kelsey Battle

“It was moved because it was requested by faculty at the school.  Due to the basketball games and other events hosted, they wanted easy access to the ATM for the public.”

Cynthia Brendle, Assistant Controller at YHC, verified the bank’s statement by saying, “we moved it, because it will be better utilized over there. It has popular attractions including the Lion’s Den, Balance Café and basketball games that students will need money for.”

Although the school made the move to better suit the lives of students, the majority still feel it would be better used in the student center.

Students have also brought to attention many of the inconveniences that come with using the ATM, including the fact that there is only one on the entire campus and the service charge that comes with it.

If you do not use a United Community Bank Mastermoney Card a fee of $3.00 is charged every time you make a withdrawal. This has angered many students who have accounts in other banks.

“I think it is ridiculous that the ATM charges $3.00 every time you use their machine. As college students we already struggle with money enough as it is,” said Mitch Williams, a sophomore math major from Covington.

Though this is frustrating to some students, the bank justifies this charge by using the fee to pay for the cost to run the ATMs.

“Every machine costs between $20,000 – $50,000 dollars. It costs a lot to service the ATM and send people to maintenance it every month. The only way we can recoup the cost of the maintenance is to charge the amount of the service charge,” Parton said.

Although many students felt the inconvenience, there were still those who never felt burdened by the move. Some had no idea the ATM had been moved at all. Meg Ruth Patterson, a senior biology major from Toccoa, felt that the new location was actually more convenient for her.

“For me, the ATM is more convenient in the recreation center, since I live in Enotah Residence Hall. But, I don’t use the ATM much anyways.”

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