New Jersey College Say GPS Cell Phones Are Mandatory for Students

Published: December 5, 2007

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Students at Montclair State University are required to purchase a cell phone with GPS tracking for their own safety.

Two years ago, prior to the incident at Virginia Tech, Montclair made it mandatory for all first year students who lived in residential housing. Now, it is mandatory for all full time undergraduates whether or not they at the commuter campus. So far, 6,000 students have the phones operated by Sprint.

When students activate the GPS, campus police are immediately informed about a student’s whereabouts. If the device is not turned off within 20 minutes, an alarm will go off in the campus police station, and a computer screen will display a dot, representing the student’s location. A photo and other personal information will also show up on the screen.

The phones cost $210 per semester in addition to the tuition fees. Each phone comes with free, unlimited text messaging, free calls after 7 p.m., free calls to other Sprint phones and the capability to read campus E-mail. Students only get 50 anytime minutes. If they want to add more minutes to the phone, students must pay extra.

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For safety technology, Montclair contracted with Rave Wireless, based out of New York City and Sprint for cell phone service. Representatives from Montclair state that money is not being made from the deal. They maintain that the money the students pay is the amount it costs the university to fund the phones.

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