The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 11, NO. 3     FEBRUARY 1998

Research on college computer use

just-completed research study by Janet Begin Richardson, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of student life, determined the current level of fraternity/sorority house computing, fee structure for computing, World Wide Web and Acceptable Use policies, and training for residence hall students and staff. The survey and research, endorsed by and in part funded through the Association for Student Judicial Affairs, was sent to 400 member institutions of ASJA and netted a 50 percent response.

The study, Harassment and Other Computer-Based Misuse on the University Campus, found that computers are now a source of disciplinary referrals. Harassment, stalking and hate speech have been added to the list of code violations. The results and analysis will be formally presented at the ASJA annual meeting in February. Richardson hopes this study will open discussions of this issue.

Richardson notes that "the impact of student computer use on the college campus is staggering. The educational opportunities afforded by the technology far outweigh the challenges that have surfaced for college administrators. Still, there is a role to be played by staff in educating the community about the boundaries that must be honored to protect the student and the University from serious consequences. Too often we look to find out what we can legislate or adjudicate. It's time we recognize that the greatest contribution we can make to the technology explosion is to educate."

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Last modified: Wed Jul 1 16:45:24 EDT 1998