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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Internet dominates the lives of many students

More GW students are bringing personal computers to college than ever before, according to a University official.

This year, the number of students using their own computers to access the Internet has risen sharply, defying past social rules and creating new ones, said Alexa Kim, who assists in the management of RESNET.

The impact of technology on student and academic life has been extremely dramatic, said Kim, who is the director of Student and Academic Support Services Technology Communication. She said students became more socially connected to friends and family as the residence halls became connected to the Internet.

Fall of 1997 marked the first time the University offered access to the Web through residence halls, when Crawford Hall, Francis Scott Key Hall and New Hall were wired for Internet access. One year later every residence hall was or would soon be connected withfull service Internet access, Kim said.

It helps build academic inroads and social inroads, Kim said. Kids are able to stay in touch with family and friends at home and at GW.

I check my e-mail twice a day, sometimes even more, said sophomore Ariel Gibbons, who said the Internet keeps her connected with her social life at GW.

Sophomore Laura Clemens admitted she checks her e-mail almost 10 times a day.

It’s more convenient than the phone, she said. It’s cheaper, also.

Some students said the Internet allows them to regulate with whom they keep in touch.

You have more control over planning what you want to write someone and who you want to keep in touch with and who you don’t, sophomore Radha Rajan said.

I don’t really write e-mails to my friends from high school anymore, Gibbons said. But it certainly helped my transition to college go a lot smoother, knowing I could always keep in touch.

The transition was less than smooth for sophomore Tom Hart, who found the Internet to be a distraction his freshman year.

I was horrible on the Internet, Hart said. I would rather be on the computer than doing my homework.

Hart used chat rooms and e-mail to form relationships outside the campus scene.

It was like a hobby, seeing how many people you can meet, he said.

Hart’s relationship with the Internet quieted down this year, yet he said the Internet is an inexpensive way to keep in touch with his friends from colleges in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

I’d much rather spend my money on my weekend than on my phone bill, Hart said.

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