College Should Not be a Playground

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College Should Not be a Playground

University students today have it pretty good.

At decent-sized schools, students have access to any number of

low-cost services that civilians would donate organs for. We get

gyms and fitness centers for free or close to it. We have computer

labs, lounges and more clubs and societies arriving every semester.

With little or no fees, on-campus coffee bars and pick-up basketball

games make traveling into the real world increasingly ludicrous.

Sure, we pay more in tuition rates to help off set the cost, but

college students these days shouldn't sweat the bill's bundled-in

activity fees - it's simply worth it to fork over a little extra cash

for the added convenience. Besides, with college rates continually

on the rise, these resource charges amount to a drop in a very large

bucket. On the other hand, shouldn't a University provide for its

students without bleeding them dry? After all, without the learners,

the educators and administrators would be jobless. So why should

students pay for access to increasingly basic and common services?

Students have come to expect these tasty perks, as if our Universities

owe us for passing through their hallowed halls. But have we come

to expect too much? Do we truly deserve extravagant bonuses? My own

school has for years given

students free, unlimited, high-speed access to the Internet. All rooms

in all dorms have long had an Ethernet port, intended to help us with

our studies. Any student can plug in, call up the library's extensive

database subscriptions, and hunt for journals, articles and other

information on a boundless range of topics.

Of course, with such power comes responsibility, for students can also

visit the seedier and less, shall we say, academic nooks of the World

Wide Web. In light of this, UMD began cracking down on Internet access

and Networking capabilities on campus last year. First, the students'

file-sharing capabilities were restricted. Many students grumbled,

but the administration remained firm. Most recently, filters blocked

the transfer of certain controversial file types. Student outcry led

to a scaled-back version of the sentinel software, but the students

haven't finished crusading. The school, they say, has infringed on our

rights by installing restrictive programs between the Internet and us.

University literature promises "free, unlimited" Internet access, and

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