SGA brings HBO to campus dorms

Jill Brower

University students no longer have to trek off campus to get their weekly fix of “The Sopranos” or “Sex and the City.”

Beginning this semester, students have the option to order the premium cable channel HBO through Comcast at the price of $45 per semester.

“Students have been asking for HBO via the Student Government Association for years,” Robert Mays, director of network and communications, said. “But we couldn’t do it because of funding.”

Responding to SGA requests, Mays worked with Comcast to give students the option of ordering the channel for individual cable connections on campus rather than supplying it to the entire campus, which would have resulted in an additional room and board charge. Students pay by room or apartment if they choose to subscribe.

“The nice thing about it is that it’s purely optional,” Mays said. “It’s your choice to get it or not.”

Comcast was on campus for three days in early semester pre-selling the HBO option, and so far 140 connections have been set up.

“We ordered HBO to watch ‘Sex and the City’ – we couldn’t stand missing it,” junior Lynda Keorlet said. “I thought it was a really great offer because there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get a premium channel if we are willing to pay for it.”

Students have voiced their opinions on cable options through SGA frequently in the past. They were successful in receiving channels such as TNT, BET and MTV2.

“Students have always requested more TV options,” SGA Vice President Timothy McGovern said. “HBO was next in line, and I’m sure that in the future students will be offered an even larger selection.”

The standard cable options available to the University were altered in 2002 when Comcast bought Adelphia Cable, the previous provider. According to Mays, the process of having HBO on campus was simplified after that change.

Other movie-viewing options offered on campus include the SGA movie channel and Reel Divine, the new video store in the Connelly Center.

“I think HBO and SGTV will be perfect complements to each other, offering even more great movies for students to watch,” senior Mike Molino, the SGTV chair, said. “I’m not worried about competition between SGTV and HBO.”

Students can still order the channel by calling Comcast. The cable company plans to return to campus in January to sell subscriptions for the spring semester.

Students who ordered the channel feel HBO was a solid investment. “It’s great for nights when we’re lying around the apartment and realize there’s a good movie on,” Keorlet said.

“Plus, the service was pretty cheap when split four ways – $12 per roommate, which is about what it costs to go to the movie theater one time.”