New ATM Comes to Wesleyan

New Seasons Federal Credit Union ATM hits Exley Science Center

Wesleyan ATM WrappedNot only has the number of on-campus automated teller machines doubled over break, but thanks to Occupy Wesleyan and WSA efforts, we now have an alternative to Bank of America. Seasons Federal Credit Union, a local Connecticut credit union, has set up a new ATM in Exley (located between the 24-hour Quiet Study Lounge and Pi Cafe). It has the same features as the BoA machine, including account balances and cash withdrawal. However, for non-members the fee is $1.75, cheaper than Bank of America’s $2.00. Seasons account members can also deposit cash or checks directly into their accounts via the ATM. Moreover, Seasons is a member of a credit union network that allows members of participating credit unions to use the ATM for free. See if your credit union is in the network here.

After an eventful “Move Your Money” campaign featuring a march on Bank of America, the issue of Bank of America’s monopoly at Wesleyan grabbed both students’ and administrators’ attention and was pursued by members of the WSA. When the administration decided to put a second ATM on campus, instead of automatically giving Bank of America access, as they might have done without Occupy’s efforts, they sent out a request for proposals to all the banks and credit unions established in Middletown. Seasons FCU’s proposal won the bid over those of Bank of America and others. This is not only great for Wesleyan, but for the larger community as well! Federal credit unions are managed by members and invest locally. They are generally more transparently run and much more connected to the local community. Credit unions are seen as a great alternative to large banks such as Bank of America, which have become infamous for their financial irresponsibility, as well as the funding of destructive enterprises, such as mountaintop removal coal-mining.

Full Disclosure: I, the author of this post, have been involved in both the Occupy movement and the efforts to get a FCU ATM on campus. My information has been gathered from a number of sources, including email exchanges and in-person discussions with Seasons’ market specialist and discussions with members of the Occupy Wesleyan movement and members of the WSA.

Edit 24 January 2013: Edited to include participation of the WSA.

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