Today in NC State History: Dorm proposal has nice ring to it

April 3, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThere were only a few pay telephones in dorms during the 1930s for young men to use at NC State, which made it difficult to conveniently make or receive a call.

And sometimes it even led to a small-scale manhunt to find someone who had an incoming call. “It is sometimes necessary for someone at the Y[MCA] to roamĀ  the dormitories in attempting to find the student wanted,” The Technician reported in 1936.

resolverBut administrators at the campus YMCA made a progressive call on this day in 1936 and proposed the installation of a new telephone system in campus dorms.

E.S. King, the secretary of the college YMCA, proposed a system in which a switchboard would be installed in the YMCA that would connect to a phone on every floor in every dorm. “Nineteen telephones would be installed, and an operator would be on duty during the greater part of the day and night to serve the system,” reported The Technician, which also ran an ad, left, touting telecommunication progress that had occurred from the Class of 1917 to the Class of 1937.

There was one obstacle to the plan, though — cost. But administrators proposed a $2 annual fee from each dorm resident to cover it. With that fee, students would be able to make local calls for free through the dorm system but still would have to cover their own long-distance calls.



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