Imagine going to a college where everything you did was monitored for good taste. Now add a computer to the hypothetical. What do you get? Acceptable Use Polices. Some schools are instituting these policies to limit how we use the Web and to make sure we act responsibly, ethically and lawfully - guess they don't trust us to do that on our own.
The new emphasis on the dos and don'ts of computer use on campus stems from changing technologies. A few years ago, we couldn't download MP3s on the web. And we certainly couldn't view high-quality video or download large software programs instantly. Fast university connections have made it easy to download mondo files and hard to police - those pesky administrators can look over our shoulders in public places like computer labs and libraries, but it's almost impossible to keep an eye on us in our dorm rooms. But that's not stopping them - many campuses are squelching the download mania by limiting bandwidth. Leigh Chodos, a Boston U. senior and computer lab T.A., says, "Our server limits downloads on our connection to 2MBs, which isn't large enough to download MP3s or large software programs."
Other common computer don'ts: e-mail spamming and viewing pages that might harass others. And the U. of Georgia takes an anti-entrepreneurial policy by forbidding advertising on personal pages hosted by the university. If you're the next Bill Gates, you'd better check to make sure your college doesn't crash your computer use.
By Ken Morico, U. of Connecticut
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