Student government says ‘no’ to web filter

The students’ government announced a stand with the students on the web filter policy.

With 29 votes, Student Association has passed a resolution to dissent from the university’s adult-content website filter.

Student Association’s Website Filter Fact-Finding Ad-Hoc Committee presented its report and recommendation regarding the filter last Monday.

The resolution encourages the administration to either remove the filter and/or determine a better alternative.

“I am ecstatic that the Association has finally made a decision about whether it supports or disproves of the policy,” said political science junior Jacob Mojica, the representative who sponsored and authored the resolution. “It has been a long-standing student concern.”

The filter blocks adult content on every device that accesses the university’s network.

The report included information from a student survey, student feedback, articles from The Valley Vanguard, the Student Association of Michigan Report, the ResNet Devices Policy and President Eric Gilbertson’s letter to Residence Housing Association (RHA) about the filter.

Based on the results of the committee’s survey from late January, which spoke to 220 students in three locations on campus, students disprove of the website filter.

Ninety percent of the surveyed students disagree with the block on personal devices, while 55 percent of the students disagree with the policy in general.

Sixty-seven percent of students approved of the idea of the filter only affecting university devices, rather than personal ones.

Gilbertson’s letter to RHA had stated that “clearly inappropriate and possibly even illegal” actions had led to the implementation of the filter.

The committee’s report stated that “It is the opinion of this committee that these isolated incidents do not warrant this reaction.”

The report also recommended that the administration further explain the purpose and nature of the policy to the university community.

Communication junior and committee chair Joey Rexford said the next step is taking the report to the president of the university. Members of Student Association will meet with newly appointed president Donald Bachand after he assumes the role Feb. 17.

“The data is there. We’ve done our part in finding out what students want,” said biochemistry senior Dylan Kosaski, president of Student Association. “At this point, what we’re hoping for is that we’ll get a good response (from the administration) hopefully in our favor, to try to improve something for the students.”

Rexford said that Student Association will continue to pursue finding a solution.

“If it’s absolutely unfeasible for them to take off the policy, then we hope that they can find the middle ground of at least unblocking the Wi-Fi,” Rexford said. “If we can be of assistance in finding a way to make that happen, we’re going to be there to help.”

Kosaski said what happens next is up to the administration.

“The ball is now in their court to see how they receive. We can communicate to the administration, we can articulate what the students want, but we’re not really communicating with them unless they are able to receive what we’re sending out,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll be able to take (this report) and run with it.”

This entry was posted on Monday, February 17th, 2014 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.