MetaEzra reports that a Cristina Lara, a rising sophomore, is pushing against the University’s policy of capping internet bandwidth to 50 GB per month and charging heavy users for overconsumption of bandwidth. She’s started a petition here and argues that “With a pricetag $57,000 per year, Cornell University should give it’s students unlimited internet usage.” All right, fair enough. But wait! There’s more. Lara’s petition goes one step further and makes a statement on Cornell’s social scene:
Cornell students in particular face a great deal of stress, and one of our outlets is to “surf the web”, read the news, watch movies, and make online purchases. By charging us for our internet usage, the Cornell University administration hinders our ability–and our willingness–to use the internet for recreational purposes.
If Cornell was situated in a major metropolitan area with a vast nightlife that could accomodate the interests of most, if not all, our undergraduates, then many Cornellians wouldn’t be so inclined to stay in their rooms and get on the internet. But that’s not the case. Cornell’s greek life dominates the social scene, making “nightlife” a dividing factor in the community.
Cornell students rely on the internet for recreational purposes, and are unwilling to pay the price for that any longer. While some students opt to partake in drug-related pastimes, other students stay in and watch movies, talk on Skype or iChat, or even just surf the web. We should not be penalized for this, and implore the Cornell University administration to completely eliminate it’s policy of charging students for the internet.
So let’s make sure we’re reading this right. Lara’s telling the administration that Cornell students desperately need bandwidth because 1) Ithaca is boring, 2) Cornell students are loaded with stress and need some private time with the intrawebs to blow these ‘loads’ 3) They would otherwise have nothing to do besides go to frat parties, and 4) DRUGS! YOU DON’T WANT US TO DO DRUGS, RIGHT?? RIGHT?
While we certainly support Lara’s goals, some of her peers have pointed out that it would take a continuous 2.3 month Skype call to pass 50 gigs. Given that, we think it’d have been easier to skip the attempt at social commentary, take the honest approach, and just say, “Some college students today such as myself are hopeless internet addicts who download massive amounts of shit, and a 50 GB bandwidth cap turns me into a shivering, pallid, teeth-chattering zombie who has no idea what to do with my life. I don’t know how to go out and play, but I do deserve a right to leave my Skype on at night so that I can sleep next to my long-distance boyfriend’s face. So don’t fine me for my somewhat sad existence. Please.”