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PNW: Recreational streaming not a problem

March 6, 2019 GMT

WESTVILLE — Officials at Purdue University last week announced they will be blocking Netflix, Pandora and other movie- and music-streaming websites in classrooms to get students to focus on academics.

But on Purdue Northwest’s campus in Westville, it’s not a problem, according to a university spokesman.

“The initiative was piloted by the West Lafayette campus only,” PNW’s Doug Clark said. “Purdue Northwest was not involved. Our senior leadership has not engaged the topic, nor has it been an action item for the Purdue Northwest Faculty Senate.”

In West Lafayette, students will no longer have access to bandwidth-consuming sites like Netflix, gaming site Steam and music streaming site Pandora, officials said. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, won’t be blocked.


“This is aimed at what’s considered recreational streaming,” said Purdue spokeswoman Julie Kercher-Updike. “It’s really about making it so streaming doesn’t take away from giving academic resources first priority.”

The university will create designated spaces in academic buildings where students can access the streaming sites.

Clark said at PNW, they don’t need to block streaming to keep students focused.

“Purdue Northwest students are serious minded,” he said. “Many are focused on their ideal job or career path after graduation, yet come to Purdue Northwest already leading busy lives, caring for family members or working their way through college. Sometimes both.

“The time they dedicate to their education – whether it’s in the classroom, at an internship or other chance to apply their learning – they understand, is valuable and well spent.”

Purdue President Mitch Daniels launched efforts in 2018 to reduce the university’s broadband services, which had seen consumption rise five-fold and costs double in the last four years.

The university conducted a week-long study of Wi-Fi traffic in two of its largest lecture halls and found just 4 percent of data was downloaded from sites deemed “academic,” while 34 percent was from sites deemed “likely non-academic.”