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Cable regretted

Letter to the Editor | Friday, February 10, 2006

I lament the University’s decision to install cable in individual dorm rooms. Among other things, I worry what it will do to Notre Dame’s proud residential tradition in the time to come.

Lounges and lobbies, the exclusive domain of the campus’ cable television, become places for social bonding. Speaking from experience living in a men’s dorm, any televised sports event has the power to draw half a hallway into the lounge for an evening. Even private common rooms where roommates set up satellites become open-door congregations. Once all those channels are available in every room, I wonder if that camaraderie will go the way of the Dumont Network (i.e., disappear). It’s long before my time, but I get the feeling that since the unfathomable age before every room had internet connections, the social atmosphere at Notre Dame has been affected negatively. This seems to be another inevitable, albeit convenient, step in that direction.

The news that installation is now expected to go on for as long as six weeks is troublesome for students, like myself, who refuse to own a cell phone – six weeks without my dependable, reliable, above-all audible land-line phone. At least if I want to call home, I have an excuse to drop in on a friend who still has service. More importantly, what do I do in my own room if I have an emergency? What about the $144 I’ve paid for phone service this semester? Will I receive a refund for these six weeks, Office of Student Accounts? Or will I have to give in and join the ranks of the cellular, publicly announcing my whereabouts with every next-minute ring?

While my hopes are that these aren’t the halcyon days for the sense of community I’ve found, one nice thing about the project is the quiet time it’s brought for contemplation. When the dark ages are finally over, I may just leave my connection unhooked and enjoy the prolonged solace (and the letters, like this one, that I’ve been able to write without distraction).

Will SeathseniorMorrissey ManorFeb. 5