Purdue will no longer allow sites such as Netflix and Hulu in classrooms, and it shows just how out-of-touch some universities are with reality.
Purdue University has announced that it will be blocking several sites, including Netflix, Hulu, music streaming and gaming sites, from classrooms as a method to reduce rapidly rising internet costs, according to a report from JC Online.
Allegedly, these sites, deemed “recreational” by the university, take away from the academic uses for the internet and experiments showed that banning these lower the broadband cost, which sounds great on paper. Unfortunately, this is an excuse by the Purdue administration to save money and not actually beneficial to the students or university.
The arbitrary designation of streaming services and gaming sites as recreational use by the University shows how out of touch the administration is with not just reality but academia.
Wait, you might be saying, how can a university be out of touch with academia?
Well, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are amazing resources for studies involving media.
In fact, I wrote my Master’s thesis on the representation of concussions on fictional television exclusively using streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. I had graduate-level courses on messaging on television where Netflix was used as a resource to show examples of theory and changes in media over time.
There are teachers and students everywhere who use these sites as academic aids rather than recreation, and out-of-touch administrators do not understand this.
Even if you believe that the majority of people are using these sites for recreation and not educational reasons, you cannot ban these potential resources from a learning environment. Banning anything defeats the purpose of collegiate learning environments!
If most universities can allow for a stranger to yell out to students that they are going to Hell as they walk to class and have giant graphic photos by abortion protestors splashed all over campus because of an adherence to free speech, maybe they shouldn’t start hypocritically limiting information elsewhere.
On top of this, and a bit less critically, it is a bad business move by Purdue.
Students pay tuition, and students demand internet access. Do you know what is going to happen if you begin restricting what sites students can go to? Students will not want to come to Purdue.
Numbers are down, funds are down and then the university is left looking stupid because of its decision to try to cut costs.
Perhaps, if costs are rising this rapidly elsewhere, universities should find another way to deal with the internet service providers rather than punishing their students. This is greed on the university’s part and nothing else, and, hopefully, this will be the first and last university environment to implement this ridiculous ban.