Web Editor’s Note: This story was written for the MCOMM 3309 – News Editing & Reporting Class
The Texas Board of Education will visit the WT campus this year in order to make sure that the campus is meeting the provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act was designed to enforce penalties on those who violate it by downloading copyrighted materials within the A&M system.
If the campus does not meet all the criteria upon the visit of the board, the aid that comes from the state can be revoked, which means students would not be able to receive financial aid in an extreme case.“WTAMU must meet the requirements of this federal mandate to remain an eligible institution for student loan and assistance programs,” James Webb, chief information officer, said.
The Texas Board of Education takes such offenses seriously and once a year they will send an agent to make sure that campuses meet the criteria provided in the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
The campus must have posted signs in dormitories and around campus warning students against illegal downloading, a summary of penalties, and a description of the institution’s policies on the school website.
Downloading copyrighted materials is a serious offense and result in consequences such as blocked Internet usage. If the offense is repeated three times the student will have permanent blocked usage until he or she has met with the Judicial Affairs office.
“I think students should be punished for downloading things illegally,” Morgan Grazier, a senior Business major, said.
“Just because people can find ways to download illegal things doesn’t mean they should, and especially not using the school’s system,” Nichelle Dawkins, a junior Communication Disorder major, said.
A more detailed account of what is considered a violation and the penalties can be found at http://www.wtamu.edu/p2p.