A Reply to Tech Items You Won’t Need On Campus

I recently opened up my browser and observed an article about tech items you won’t need on campus. I’m sure the author, Robin Raskin is quite intelligent, but this list is woefully inaccurate, and very out of touch. So, I’ve provided a rebuttal to everything listed. While the article maintains you don’t need the specific item, I either disagree, or think it’s common sense that you don’t need it.

Your Printer

Yes, you need a printer. It is a pain to run around campus trying to find a place to print your paper. It is also annoying if you have to bug your roommates or other people in your dorm all the time. Yes, printers may be bulky, but they are so useful. In fact, I almost considered putting “Printer” on my list of overlooked things you should bring to college. However, I figured that naturally most people would realize the importance of a printer. That being said, unless you love inconvenience and added stress, bring a printer.

AOL or Other Paid ISP

I think the word “duh” would suffice for this one. Anyone who would maintain a dial-up account while living on campus shouldn’t even be in college. Of course Universities all have high-speed Internet access. Maybe Ms. Raskin was listing this for the few college students who were raised under rocks on Mars and didn’t realize that they need not bring a modem with a paid internet service to college.


Does anyone truly need Netflix? If you want a Netflix account, go ahead and have it. Although, from my experience, I’ve found very few people who actually have one in college. By very few, I mean no one. So, logically, why would anyone think they need it? Many video stores can be found near campus, and people can always download movies (as the article does suggest). However, if you want Netflix, you don’t need it, but go ahead if that’s your thing.


This one made me laugh. You don’t need a TV? Use a media PC? Sorry, but last time I checked, you can’t plug your PS2, Xbox 360, or Wii into a Dell, or any other PC. I’m sure there’s a way, but who would try to do that? Bring a TV if you think you’re going to watch TV at all or play video games. Don’t waste money on programs and hardware needed to watch TV on your computer. I understand dorms don’t have a lot of space, but I can always find room for my TV.


I’ll agree with this one, you don’t need a landline. However, if your cell dies, it never hurts to have a back up. I don’t know about schools ripping up landlines in favor of wireless. I know my school just took room phones out of all the rooms and said that if students wanted a landline, they could bring their own telephone, but the lines are still there. Many other schools still provide their students with room phones.

Back Up Device

My first response to this was quite eloquent. I’ll save you the details, but I basically went “WTF.” My school has never given me any megabytes of storage on their servers. If Ms. Raskin is talking about e-mail, then she must be delusional. I couldn’t possibly use the e-mail space allotted me by my school to back up all my important files. Bring CDs to burn backups of important things. Bring a Flash Drive as well. Even if schools do give you some space, that doesn’t mean there’s no need to have extra back up plans.

Digital Camera

Sorry again Ms. Raskin, but I don’t believe students think cell phone camera pictures are just as good as digital camera pictures. She writes, “Many students say that their 2-megapixel camera phone suits them just fine.” I’m not sure where she found her sources, or what students she talked to, but that’s just an outlandish statement. I know many, many students personally who swear by their digital cameras and actually complain about the quality of picture their phone takes. Also, you certainly don’t NEED a digital camera, but if you want to take loads of pictures and put them up on facebook, then I’d strongly suggest bringing one. Unless you have the most fantastic camera phone on the market, it won’t be nearly as effective.

Digital Video Cameras

I’ve never heard of any students rushing to get digital video cameras. Most use the video features of their digital cameras. If you are a film student, then I guess your university may have loaners.

Pens, Pencils, and Books

So, I guess since the NYU College of Dentistry got rid of them, then all the other thousands of colleges in this nation will follow suit? Well shucks, I’m just going to set my books on fire because NYU’s school of dentistry just changed policy. Really, want an intelligent piece of advice Ms. Raskin has provided her readers with.


So when did keychains suddenly become tech? Last time I checked, my keychain is just a piece of metal…not exactly cutting-edge technology. Maybe Ms. Raskin’s key chain can make espresso and spell-check her horribly written articles for her. Too bad it can’t check her facts for her. The article points out that students have swipe cards to get into their dorms. This is true, but every college I’ve seen still gives students keys for their actual dorm room. Not to mention, many students actually punch holes in their swipe cards and put them on keychains…imagine that! According to Ms. Raskin, there is no need to have a place to put keys to your home, bike lock, dorm room door, or car (many college students still have those). Oh, how foolish I have been lugging my cumbersome key chain around when I actually don’t need it!

Wi-Fi Sniffer

Who would bring one anyway? Ms. Raskin writes, “Not that you were going to rush out and get one,” so why would she even mention it?


Wrong again. I have made countless burn mixes for my friends. I download programs and put them on CDs, can transfer data via CDs when all else fails. Is it really that hard to shell out like 20 bucks to get a bunch of blank CDs? I know MP3 players are all the rage, but I still see my occasional Walkman on campus. Oh yes, and people who have nice stereos, they still use CDs too. Also, college students often have cars with CD players. The article also ignores the fact that some students may not be able to afford new iPods. Don’t throw out your CDs just yet.

To say that Ms. Raskin has very little understanding of what college students actually need is like saying Britney Spears may be slightly insane. Ms. Raskin has ventured into realms of stupidity I never thought existed in making such preposterous suggestions to college students. If I could think of one word in the English language I wish Ms. Raskin would become more familiar with, it would be “Research.” One must understand and know something about one’s demographic before one gives that demographic advice. Others may value her opinion highly. I, however, will not be throwing my “tech” keychain out, or setting my pencils on fire anytime soon. Now I must go burn a CD for my girlfriend before the technology becomes obsolete, according to Robin Raskin.

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