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Lights out: Tuition overlooks electric bill

By Myron MathisColumnist

At 12:52 p.m. on Sept. 16, there was a brief power outage in Hammer Lab. “My homework,” cried a student as the power went out. Upon the return of power, some students left the lab due to difficulty in accessing the Internet and logging onto the computers. Is this really an inconvenience that we should have to tolerate?

I do not want to come across as spoiled or needy, but the fact is, when students pay as much as they do to attend Hofstra, they should not have to worry about power outages in Hammer Lab, or anywhere for that matter.

Hofstra’s undergraduate students pay roughly $54,000 a year to go here, give or take some thousands due to scholarships, grants, etc. That means that with roughly 7,000 undergraduate students in the fall of 2012, Hofstra grossed $378,000,000 from students alone in the 2012-2013 academic year. Yet we have power outages?

I turned to social media to find out from other students whether they had any campus power outage experiences.

“I was at my professor’s office hours on the top floor of NAB, and we realized the power went out while we were talking,” said sophomore Celia Werner. “It was out for a few minutes, maybe 5, and then it came back on. It was Monday the 16th around 12:30p.m.”

“There was a flash a few times,” said freshman Dabney Linn Rauh. “Once in Bits and Bytes around 1-ish, and the other was in the middle of the night. I'm not sure why it happened. I had just gotten food at Bits and Bytes, and it went out for about a minute and then came back.”

Julia Macchio, a senior, said that Alliance Hall recently had a power outage. “The weather was actually really nice, so it couldn't have been from rain or wind,” she said. “I was sitting in my room, and all of a sudden I realized that the hallway lights had gone off, and then about three seconds after I realized, my room lights went off, and all of our clocks reset.”

The fact of the matter is that we should have some kind of assurance that things like this aren’t going to happen. These outages are just the latest development in what has seemed like a continuous strand of technological difficulties.

Since my arrival at Hofstra in the fall of 2011, I have noticed technological issues abound: a struggling wifi service that often crashes in the dorms, Hofstra Cards not reading properly, or the card reader itself not working. Cashiers at dining halls have even had to write down students’ 700-numbers and orders when the system malfunctions. For a school so ahead, we seem rather behind on some things.

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