If you called it annoying, you’d be right. If you called it disruptive, you’d be right. If you called it typical, you’d be right. But what it is, above all else, is absolutely unacceptable.We were planning on writing an editorial this week about how intermittent Internet access is in WCU’s residence halls. On Wednesday, we began receiving e-mails from students telling us that their high-speed Internet connections would morph into what seemed like a slow dial-up connection. Pages wouldn’t load, simple graphics and images would take minutes, and AIM connections would be dropped. The complaints only came from two buildings, Sanderson and Goshen, so we wanted to find out if this was a widespread issue or if the problem was contained within the two buildings.
We sent out an e-mail to about 170 first-year students that live in residence halls. We, unfortunately, were not surprised by the response. Students representing every residence hall except Wayne responded:
“When you need to get work done the most, the internet can’t hang!” -Sanderson Hall, 3rd floor
“I have a very slow Internet connection most of the time.” -Ramsey Hall, 6th floor
“At one point some people could not get the Internet to work at all. -McCarthy Hall
These responses-and almost two dozen others-came in, prompting us to inquire further with the University’s IT department. While we received no official comment from them, they did offer to meet with us on October 1 or 2. It is unknown how many more responses our e-mail would have yielded, because sometime on Saturday morning, every North Campus resident was shut out, shut down, shunned. No Internet; not even slow Internet, none.
The multitude of reasons why this is unacceptable should be obvious and for some students, old. All one must do is look around. This line is used quite a lot in our editorials, but again, is appropriate to use: This is a college campus.
Clearly, nobody wants the Internet to lag. Nobody wants to be denied access to it. And clearly, the University isn’t doing anything on purpose to deny students access. But they most certainly bare the responsibility. No communications system is perfect, and all computers, networks and servers require occasional maintenance. But why is there not a system in place or a person to call or a protocol to follow when something like this happens? Aside from businessmen and government employees, college students have to use the Internet more than any other group of people.
We’ll save you the cliched rant about how much we rely on such an unreliable medium such as the Internet. You’ve heard it. But think about how much we, as students, use it for. How is the University supposed to function without it?
How will students access e-mail? How will professors upload assignments, notes, grades, or announcements to BlackBoard? How will the University notify us of class cancellations or some sort of crime on campus? We’d be in the dark, in every possible way.
Luckily for The Quad, the only place Internet was available this past weekend was in Sykes, and potentially just in our office. By this time tomorrow, we hope Internet access is restored to North Campus. Students are phased by redundancies, and if this happens again, we wouldn’t be surprised if some new students that are on the fence about transferring decide to choose a university that doesn’t stand for 24-48-72 hour Internet outages. Fix the problem and keep it fixed, simple as that.