Prank phone calls plague campus

by Cassie Lauterbach

Being woken up by a late-night phone call is bearable.

But being woken up every night is a nightmare.

Students, like the rest of the owners of telephone lines, can get calls at all hours of the day and night with very random messages on the other end.

“I’ve gotten drunk people calling me before, or calls at four o’clock in the morning, so it can be really annoying,” junior Nancy Johnson said.

While most prank calls seem to be just an annoyance, repeated or threatening calls are treated as such by security when they are reported.

“Depending on the information reported to us by the student, whether there is an actual threat or harassment, different actions are taken,” Director of Security Chris Frerichs said. “Some repeat calls may result in us working with a student to have Information Services change the phone number.”

Last year sophomore Tiffany Smith had this problem with phone calls. She said Kresge Hall had a lot of late-night calls last year, so she had to come up with a solution.

“I figured out that if the campus line rings after a certain time, I just won’t answer it,” Smith said.

According to Frerichs, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern as to which residence halls receive more calls than others.

“Prank phone call reports are very random and sporadic,” Frerichs said. “Any student attending Simpson College full time and who is listed in Simpson’s phone book is susceptible to receiving calls.”

If a student wants to report a prank call, security encourages documentation of the call and any repeated incidents or patterns.

“We do request that students document the time and content of the call if they are going to report it,” Frerichs said. “If students decide not to report a call, then we have no way of helping them, no way of even knowing about the incident.”

However, not everyone living on campus is affected by prank calls.

“It’s never a problem for me or my roommate,” sophomore Eric Bruce said. “If we are prank called, it’s usually by people we know and they call our cells, not the Barker phone.”

Nevertheless, if any student reports a problem, Security and Information Services will do what they can to help.

“We want to check into anything that could be threatening, but most call complaints are just annoying but harmless,” Frerichs said.

Smith agrees.

“I thought prank calls was more like something middle school kids did, but

it does happen even in college,” Smith said.