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Wednesday October 18, 2000

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Disciplinary hearings over network misuse are fair

UA Residence Life has disciplined 15 students this semester for inappropriate use of Napster, the infamous music file sharing service provider.

The students allegedly took up too much network bandwidth and would leave the Napster program open for long periods of time. These are violations of the ResComp Acceptable Use Policy.

It is reasonable that the Dean of Students discipline anyone who misuses the Ethernet network. Given that a campus community of over 35,000 is sharing the network, it is unfair for anyone to take advantage of its capabilities.

However, it is also reasonable that the Dean of Students office take extra measures to educate the UA community on its position on Napster in particular. The music file server has been a hotbutton of controversy, particularly among universities, around the country given how popular the service has become among college students. Therefore it probably deserves extra attention within UA's network use guidelines.

Currently Residence Life gives students a warning the first time they violate the policy. The second time, the students face disciplinary hearings.

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