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Commentary Relays Edition

Drake, and the world, is inaccessible to those without phones

A photo of the writer's phone with their digital wallet open Drake's newest tech features require students to have their phones accessible at all times, and that poses a problem to this writer. Photo by Meghan Holloran | Photo Editor 

Five days before spring break began, my phone began restarting by itself every five minutes. It would grow hotter and hotter with each restart, and I soon realized it was unusable. Here are all the things I was unable to do without a cell phone for five days.

At first, the biggest issue was the inability to text or call anyone. To contact my dad, who is the technology support for my family, I had to search for his Snapchat and text him through the web version. I had to use Facebook Messenger to contact my mom. For friends, I had to use Snapchat and Discord. I brought my MacBook with me everywhere I went to ensure I didn’t miss any texts from my parents or friends. This issue wasn’t that hard to overcome. 

Since I use my phone for my morning alarm, my neighbor had to wake me up each morning before she left for her 8 a.m. class, and I also had to have friends set alarms on their own phones, reminding me to take my medication each night. 

The next challenge I noticed without my phone was ensuring I carried my Drake ID with me everywhere. The addition of mobile IDs this school year got me used to not having to carry my ID with me everywhere. I quickly noticed that, with physical IDs not being printed soon, any Drake student who has their phone stolen, is not able to afford a mobile phone, or does not have a working phone could get into buildings.

The biggest and most compromising issue I faced without a mobile phone was the inability to access any Microsoft log-in required application. Without a phone, I couldn’t confirm my identity. At first, I couldn’t log into MyDrake. Then it was Blackboard and my Drake email. I told my professors that I was unable to complete any assignments. Again, if a Drake student cannot access their phone for whatever reason, they are not able to survive at this University, or even the world.

Thankfully, my dad had a replacement phone waiting for me when I arrived home for spring break. Also, thankfully, I was driving another person home with me, and if I had gotten stuck on I-35, I could’ve used their phone to contact my parents. I also had their phone to check directions on their map app.

There is something to be said about the state of the world and how no one can survive without a mobile phone. This is especially present in restaurants where you order and pay through scannable QR codes or websites that require multi-factor authentication. 

But at Drake specifically, especially with the decrease in physical IDs, it is impossible to be a student without a cell phone. Drake should be more accessible and offer temporary IDs for those without a working phone once they are no longer printed.


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