I am plugged in. On any given day in a semester I use BYU’s Internet service to check my classes, change my classes, contact my teachers, check schedules for events, chat with my friends and exchange emails with my family … if BYU’s service is working.
Now, even the most technically challenged students can verify that BYU’s Internet is down frequently. Granted, paying $12.30 per month is a small fee to pay for a high-speed connection, but what use is my monthly bill if my Internet is down most of the time?
I am required to have the Internet to function as a college student, but I have found that researching for any sort of project is a nightmare because BYU has chosen a system of blocking almost every site on the Internet. Pictures sent from home of my mother (which, unless I’ve been remarkably ignorant of her hobbies, show her clothed) are deemed pornography and I can forget downloading anything from a shared network because obviously that’s going to undermine my testimony. Force us to use the Internet, urge us to become paperless, but make us pay $12.30 a month for it and don’t let us have any control over what Web sites we are allowed to see? Not fair, BYU.
For some, the risk of pornography is so great that a porn-blocker is necessary, but going to a pornographic Web site takes a conscious effort on the computer user’s part. If students have urges to investigate, they’re attending the wrong school.
There needs to be a new system and there needs to be one now. Were this service free (and were the on-campus computer labs accessible during peak hours), I would gladly accept the downtimes and the extremely restrictive viewing, but I’m paying for this. I dare you to keep the Ethernet working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I dare you to give us more freedom – to trust us to obey the Honor Code on which this school thrives. I dare you to give us access.