Last week, three high ranking officials went before the Student Government Association to present the University’s case for eliminating the mobile computing program — colloquially known to students as the laptop program.
They were armed with figures about cost savings and a plan to phase out the current program – which has existed since 1998. Students who were not coming into the University with a laptop already would then be able to buy their choice of laptop from Follett.
Under this new plan, new Seton Hall students without a laptop would have the $275 mobile computing fee struck from their bursar bill and would have to shell out the cost of a new laptop with the choice of cheaper options ranging to the more high-end and expensive models, with officials acknowledging that there would be “different tiers” of laptops to choose from.
This, of course, presents a glaring problem for students who come from lower-income and disadvantaged backgrounds: shell out the money for a higher end laptop either with loans or out of pocket funds or go the cheapest route with a laptop who’s performance will reflect the lower price they paid.
According to Seton Hall’s own website, one of the benefits of the current program is that it offers a uniform experience for all students, regardless of economic background. This new plan reeks of an attempt by the University to cut costs under the guise of offering “choice” to students and reducing costs for them – an interesting angle for a University that hiked tuition by nearly 4% two years in a row.
Until we see some real empirical data that this will benefit students rather than create an economic and technological gap between wealthy and low-income pirates, our message to the University is clear: Keep your hands off the laptops.
The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief.