Our View: Stay plugged in for your own good

DKS Editors

When was the last time you used a landline phone with a cord? Or listened to music from a home stereo system? Odds are, it’s been a while. We’re a wireless generation.

Our lives revolve around iPods, cell phones and laptops – instant access to information whenever, wherever we want it. No cords included.

Unfortunately, if you’re a student living on campus in certain residence halls, your “unplugged” lifestyle may not fit with university regulations. Not all residence halls are wireless, and the university prohibits students from installing their own wireless routers.

According to Kent State’s Information Technology officials, prohibited routers are seized from dorm rooms several times per week because they interfere with the university’s wireless network, cordless phones and the building’s network connections. Translation: If a student is using a wireless router, it could keep other students nearby from being able to connect to the network.

We don’t blame students for crafting their own wireless networks in their rooms. It’s great to relax on a futon while writing a paper and watching TV.

But the university has policies in place for a reason. Other items such as candles, halogen light bulbs and incense also are banned for the safety of students. Routers are no exception.

If you don’t care that your wireless router may be interrupting other students’ Internet connections, look at it this way: Unless you’re a computer whiz, you’re creating a network liable to hijacking. That’s your personal information at risk. Essentially, you’re asking for identity theft, which is no easy feat to untangle yourself from.

Plus, if other students illegally download music via your wireless connection, you – not them – are liable for the offense. The inconveniences you create for yourself by wanting the convenience of a portable computer aren’t worth the consequences.

In the meantime, we hope the university continues to spread wireless Internet to all of its residence halls and academic buildings. We’re excited for the day Kent State can call itself a “wireless campus.”

We know potential future students would be just as excited. Think of it as an investment – a small but important line to add on university recruitment brochures.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.