As a college student, money is important. Although we might not have a lot of it, we still need to access our funds to go about our everyday lives. Grocery shopping, parking, food, books, clothes and alcohol all cost more money than students will ever be able to afford. However, that does not change the fact that we all have the uncontrollable urge to just throw caution to the wind and blow all of our money on these things anyway. While Venmo and debit cards are useful tools in our campaign to indiscriminately spend as much money as possible, certain things need to be purchased with cash.
Unfortunately for Bank of America customers, the quest for cash is a long and arduous one. None of the businesses in town seem to know what the concept of giving cash back with debit card purchases are and the nearest Bank of America is about a mile off campus. It’s a short drive, but a longer-than-convenient walk for a freshman with no car. If I wasn’t a broke college kid, perhaps I would entertain the fact of using one of many of the ATMs on campus, despite the impending threat of a surcharge. Many of my peers advise me to use one of the Bank of America ATMs conveniently placed downstairs in Hasbrouck, or on the inside of the Starbucks near the art building. Even Google Maps will direct me to one of these two locations when Bank of America is typed in, but alas, after giving both locations a thorough sweep, there are no ATMs to be found. The question is: where the heck are they, and if they were there before, why aren’t they still there now?
As a freshman coming down to New Paltz from the North Pole a.k.a Rochester, I knew very little about the town. I was provided by the school a list of banks that were compatible with the ATMs on campus. Sure enough, Bank of America was one of them. Coming to New Paltz on visits and for orientation, my family and I made note of the Bank of America in town, and with the assurance of the school that there would be an ATM for it on campus. Neither me nor my family had any reason to believe that I would be left in the cold to fend for myself. Originally only having a bank account with a regional credit union, my mom and I took it upon ourselves to make a Bank of America account for when I was in school. Upon coming to campus for my first semester, however, it became clear to me that the school had betrayed me.
Looking a little further, it’s easy to see that I am definitely not the only person who is finding the mysterious disappearance of these ATMs a problem. One look at the SUNY New Paltz Parents group on Facebook will show the confusion shared by a wide variety of parents. One parent posted a photo with text on it saying “BOA on campus ATM… has anyone had any luck finding it?” The post has variety of replies from equally confused parents, a couple even mentioning that they asked Bank of America themselves about the problem to no avail. All of this uncertainty led me to do my own searching for answers.
After asking the information desk in the Haggerty Administration Building if they knew where the ATMs went, I was given puzzled looks and little else. With nowhere else to turn, I ended up calling the local Bank of America; after a few tries, finally got through to a secretary. After explaining to her my predicament, she proceeded to tell me that the branch in town is not the one responsible for the ATM, she assured me that when repairs to Hasbrouck are finished the ATM should be accessible again. But, when will that happen? I suppose we can only wait and see.