Google Chat Banned


Kevin Kane

Pictured is a student angered by the Google chat ban, sending an email instead.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s has continued to tighten restrictions on students, especially when it comes to technology. Recently BSM has banned the messaging app and countless other websites related to communication, gaming, and more. But on February 8th students realized a new ban was now effective on their laptops. Google chat, a messaging software built into Gmail, was completely removed from students’ Gmail accounts.

Administrators have done so for a variety of reasons, citing student safety and misuse of software by students. Administration claims the changes have not been done based on widespread misuse, but rather on a few students that have used the software inappropriately. However, specifics on how students were using the software inappropriately weren’t given. “I think it’s the classic scenario where one to 10% of people ruined it for the other 99 to 90% of people,” Help Desk Technician Peter Schubloom said.

After the software was banned, students were upset by the change. Many students use google chat to communicate with their friends and family. Several clubs, classes, and other activities used google chat to help coordinate with each other, but now are unable to do so through google chat. “It’s really annoying for like clubs and activities,” junior Emma Granite said.

I think it’s the classic scenario where one to 10% of people ruined it for the other 99 to 90% of people

— Peter Schubloom

Despite the original annoyance caused by the ban, most students have either found a way around it or are using their phones during passing period. In part the quick adaptation of students has come from the new phone policy this year, allowing students to message their friends and family during passing time. Additionally, besides more technical workarounds, students are using email or their phones. “It was weird at first, but then I got used to just texting in between classes,” senior Annie Libby said.

Even though students have adapted to the change, many still feel that the administration’s reaction to misuse is ineffective. Much of the feelings stem from the administration’s approach to take away software services from all students, rather than just those causing the issues. “There’s just a few individuals who are misusing the laptops. I feel like they should take care of those students. And, not get rid of laptops or take away games or anything like that,” Granite said.