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Duke's student paper pans iPod program

Thanks, but no thanks.

Free iPods are just a marketing gimmic and the money would better be spent elsewhere. That was the message in an editorial published in Monday's edition of the Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper.

The paper took issue with the school's recent decision to continue its iPod giveaway, albeit in a more selective manner. Last year, Duke gave free players to all incoming freshman. For the coming year, the school said it will make them available to students of any year who take a class that is making use of the iPod.

"The UniversityÂ’s decision to continue the iPod program is a poor one," the paper's editorial staff wrote, saying the first year's experience showed there was "limited academic use" of the pricey players. Giving out players only to students who enroll in certain classes is also a bad idea, the paper said, likely to lead to a rash of students signing up for "iPod classes."

"The selective distribution of iPods will create undesired incentives for students to enroll in certain classes, and the timing of the announcement shows that the program is nothing more than a marketing scheme," the paper said.