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Editorial:The WIFI in residential halls is a problem that needs to be addressed with more urgency

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:02

The Loyola Internet connection, particularly in residential halls, has been everything from shoddy to inaccessible, and students are growing increasingly frustrated.

The Internet has become a necessary tool for students to succeed, but recently it seems that Loyola has neglected the importance of this relationship.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, residents in both Biever Hall and Carrollton Hall experienced an Internet blackout starting at around 9:30 p.m. and extending to at least 2 a.m.

“The most recent issue was caused by a failure in one of the four wireless controllers that impacted two residence halls,” Joseph Locascio, director of computer and network services, said in an email.

Students operating the network from their residential halls were livid without Internet, and this was far from the first incident.

Carrollton Hall’s Internet functionality has been an issue since at least early December.

“The one thing, Loyola, that has been consistently horrible throughout my time here has been what you call the Internet. The dreaded Loyola-Net buffers any time two people dare to use it, and sometimes it just stops working,” Maya Schacker, political science junior, said in her Dec. 5 Letter to the Editor about Carrollton Hall’s WIFI 
This is a serious problem. Every student living on campus pays $225 per semester for network maintenance and full informational technology support.

Our curriculum also requires that we use the Internet for class.

Let’s say that you are working on a timed Blackboard exam or downloading your 180-page text book from Amazon, but then suddenly the Internet cuts out. Sure, you can email IT from your phone and wait until they are back in the office and going through their emails, but what happens when you need Internet now?
Students shouldn’t have to deal with the loss of connection as frequently as they do on top of all other everyday university demands and sources of stress.

IT recognizes that there is a problem with Internet in residential halls and is aware that, “It will be necessary to continuously improve our wireless services,” Locascio said.

Locascio also said that the WIFI was updated over winter break, but obviously this has not answered the immediate problem.

A majority of students are expected to live on-campus for at least two years, meaning two years of sporadic Internet.

Loyola’s Online Records Access is known to shut down during registration, and Blackboard does the same during exams. While it may be expected that the overflow of network users may lead to connection problems, after several semesters we demand that this be taken more seriously.

Unfortunately, despite the frequent problems, the best way to contact IT for help is by email. We need this to change. When the Internet is acting up, there needs to be more urgency from IT in trying to fix the problem. We are living in an increasingly Internet-dependent society. Our university is supposed to ensure that we have the tools necessary to succeed, and with the network as terrible as it is right now, Loyola is not fulfilling its end of the bargain.

The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board. 

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