<< Front page Commentary May 14, 2004

Wireless not the fix

To the Editors:

I don’t understand how increased wireless internet access is supposed to alleviate the problems that would be caused by closing the Biggs computer lab. Offering wireless internet access will make no difference for those students who have desktop computers, or for those who don’t have computers at all.

It will not change the situation for students whose dormitory connections slow to a crawl or become completely unavailable whenever a new virus devastates the system. It won’t be of much use to students who lack resources like Word, PowerPoint, Photoshop or other expensive software that they would otherwise access through the computer labs.

Finally, closing Biggs will especially aggravate the situation for those students who need to use the computer lab resources for any of the above mentioned reasons, but have been finding that it is increasingly difficult to get access to a computer during peak hours in alternative labs like Mudd.

I understand that there is a great need for administrative space, but I would encourage the administration to consider all the ways that closing the computer lab might result in a greater divide between students with certain resources and those without.

The idea that more widespread wireless access or lunchroom email-stations would solve the problem concerns me, because these “solutions” only address those who have adequate resources to begin with.

They treat the closing of the lab as a mere inconvenience, not as the real problem it might be for those students who lack computer resources of their own.

–Rebecca Rosenberg
College sophomore


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