Following an announcement yesterday by Roxio, the parent company of Napster, Provost Charles Phelps announced that UR will become the first private university in the nation to sign a digital music agreement to provide an Internet music service to its students. The deal will provide access to Napster’s Premium music service to all students living in UR residence halls, beginning later this semester. This is a pilot program which will last through the 2005 spring semester, when it will be considered for permanent implementation. This agreement comes as a response to escalating concerns about the university being legally liable in illegal music sharing cases. While the program provides a certainly useful service, there are several issues which should be addressed before the university makes its final decision next year. Firstly, funding for the pilot program has already been allocated, yet the details of the financial dealings have not been made available. Specific figures, and their anticipated impact on tuition and currently funded services, must be released to and evaluated by the university community as a whole. Another issue that deserves open consideration is the accessibility and utility of the program to all parts of the student body. The current program works only with recent editions of Windows, which excludes students using Linux or not using Windows emulators on Macintoshes. Not having forewarned students to purchase PCs, the university has a significant portion of current, and probably future, students who own a machine that will not be compatible with the music service. These students will be forced to financially contribute to the service without the ability to take advantage of its benefits. As the first private university in the country to sign an agreement of this type, UR should express these concerns both to Napster and to other universities considering a similar agreement. With proper pressure from such large future customers, these concerns should be resolved before a permanent agreement is negotiated. Additionally, the threat of government and industry actions against both students and the university itself must be highly credible to justify the university’s efforts. The university should be applauded for taking steps to protect students from prosecution and encourage legal methods of enjoying music. For the university’s actions to be truly laudable, however, steps must be taken to correct problems that threaten to exclude students and create an even higher financial burden for the university and individual students.

Hippo Campus’ D-Day show was to “Ride or Die” for

Hippo Campus’ performance was a well-needed break from the craze of finals, and just as memorable as their name would suggest.

UR Womens’ Lacrosse trounces Nazareth 17-5

UR’s Womens’ Lacrosse team beat Nazareth University 17–5 on Tuesday at Fauver Stadium.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.