Campus-Wide Wi-Fi Outage Affects Students

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

As many students and faculty know, the wifi has frequently been having issues throughout the fall semester. There have been wifi outages, bad connections and hard-to-reach spots where the internet works perfectly. The most recent outage was on Thursday Nov. 11. The outage was campus-wide and affected both students and The Daily Grind. It started around 2:45 p.m, and E. Jennell Sargent sent out an email at 2:59 p.m. that day to let everyone know the Wi-Fi was having issues. As a result, The Daily Grind was unable to make purchases using flex dollars, as the systems were down due to network issues. The Package Center was still able to allow students to receive packages.

Numerous students complained about the Wi-Fi outage. Since this occurred after most classes had ended, students most affected by the outage were attempting  to get homework done after class. However, some students were not as affected by the outage. It appears that the Offshore Sailing Club went out on the water, unaware of the reality of a student’s nightmare on campus. After a few hours, the Wi-Fi started working again around 5:00 p.m. Sargent sent out another email at 4:56 p.m. stating, “The OIT Network team has identified the issue and they are working diligently to resolve it.” The Daily Grind was able to make purchases again and things began to run smoothly as it shifted back to normal.

Sargent sent out an email at 6:04 p.m. giving a second update about the Wi-Fi outage that occurred. In her email, she stated:

“I hope all is well.  Network Service (Internet) and the WiFi is now working.  The Office of Information Technology Network team identified that one of the major core switch equipment (this controls the network) experienced a total malfunction and required replacement.  Fortunately, the Network team noted that a replacement switch device was in stock and they replaced it immediately.  Upon replacing the switch this required the Network team to configure the new device to support the campus network.”

This has been one of many Wi-Fi outages through the fall semester. There have also been critical updates once a month, and simultaneously outages during class times. Although outages have occurred frequently, there haven’t always been emails stating any updates. This has been an issue for students, leading many to complain about work that needs to be submitted online.

As the fall break comes to an end, students may hope for better connections in the spring semester. Sargent is always available to be contacted by email. In her second update about the Wi-Fi, she said, “If you are experiencing any additional network related issues (Internet or WiFi), please do not hesitate to contact me immediately.” While other students may be studying abroad, the ones who continue to live on campus will keep their fingers crossed that the Wi-Fi will be stronger and faster in the spring. Otherwise, students will be used to the same routine of having weaker connections.

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