It is no myth that the use of cellular phones has risen in the past couple of years. Around campus, students are using them everywhere ? in the library, in the dining facilities and even in the gym.

Cellular phones have left the era of being a luxury and become a fashion, industry analysists have said. Head of the Political Science Department Gerald Gamm said that many students, especially his freshman advisees, have given him cell phone numbers instead of their room numbers this year. Some “even wondered if their room phones worked, since they had never tried using them.”

The University Telecommunications has seen an increase in the use of cellular phones as well. In order to provide for growing interest, telecommunications launched its “pilot program” for students to obtain cellular service through the school.

“Students want mobility and [telecommunications] wants to make sure they provide that service for them,” Assistant Director of Telecommunications, Kate Crowley said.

Students can meet with a Cingular representative and get a cell phone through the school. They also offer UR Wireless that provides wireless data service that is available through Information Technology Services.

For those who remain faithful to the campus’ phone system, the charge for long distance is a flat seven cents a minute, including any surcharges. Therefore, long distance charges apply only when they choose to use it.

Students claim they have cell phones for convenience and in the event of emergencies. Sophomore Ryan Gilroy uses a Motorola phone with a plan through Cingular. He uses his room phone for local calls but keeps his cell phone with him to “stay in touch and for emergencies.”

Professor of Religion Douglas Brooks has his own policy regarding phones in his classroom. “If it rings, it’s for me,” he said. To most students’ amusement, Brooks is known to be completely serious with his policy.

Junior Jill Friedman has her own policy regarding cell phones. In public places, such as the library, “Students should keep them on vibrate and go somewhere else to talk.”

Despite the growing craze that cell phones have become, there are still students who do not own one or students who stand fervently against the way they are used. “[Students] should take a mandatory etiquette course before purchasing a cell phone,” senior Navin Dargani said.

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