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Cable creates distractions

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, April 6, 2005

This letter is in response to the April 5 article “Plan proposed to provide cable in dorms.” When I was an undergraduate here (1998-2002), this idea was proposed a number of times, and now I see it has reappeared. I would like to put forward the opinion that providing cable in the dorms would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to this University. I think today’s students already have too many distractions – iPODs, internet, DVDs, cell phones, video games, the presence of persons of the opposite sex. None of these would have confronted the student at Saint Mary’s or Notre Dame a generation or so ago. We should not add cable TV to the above list.

According to your article, student president Dave Baron said that students move off campus because of the absence of cable and that this damages the campus community. On the contrary, if these students really value cable TV that much, then I’d say we’re better off without them! Further, I always thought that it was a good thing that the lack of cable, and generally of good broadcast reception, brought dormmates together around the televisions in the dorm lounges, especially to watch events like the World Series or Super Bowl or Presidential Debates. If everyone had cable, they’d be more apt to stay in their rooms to watch these shows.

Baron was also quoted as saying that cable TV would have vast educational benefits. I really doubt that this is true. Actually, I think it is absurd. I’d be willing to stake good money on the bet that for every one hour of educational programming watched, there would be ten hours of Saved by the Bell re-runs watched.

So for all these reasons, I beg student government, or Father Poorman, or the Board of Trustees or whoever makes these decisions, to please refrain from installing cable TV in the dorms.

Duncan McIntyre

graduate student

April 5