Lewis University Wi-Fi? Nice Try.

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Let me take this opportunity to vent for a second to you, the Lewis University community. In a world where we depend on cell phones to do everything for us and where Facebook has replaced face-to-face communication, technology has shown how critical it is to everyday living. All of these technologies are inspired around the internet.

Lewis University internet off of LAN lines works great, should you be willing to download the headache of Clean Access and the required internet security software associated. It’s not that filtered internet for a man who’s in his 20’s isn’t something I’m crazy about, but it’s not something I’m crazy about. The school should change its name to “Lewis High School” if they think filtering internet sites is alright with the student body. I wasn’t aware that fantasy sports sights were considered illegal, thus ban-able.

But for those kids who prefer to use the internet the way they want to, unfiltered and without downloading parental guidance software, there’s the Lewis University wireless internet network. The only problem is good luck finding an area on campus with a strong signal that has any kind of speed whatsoever.

I work at WLRA, the campus radio station. Over the summer months, we launched an iTunes App where students can listen to the station on their iPhones or iPod Touches anywhere in the world. Most embarrassing moment I’ve ever had is where on a tour of the station, a parent asked me for a demonstration of the App. I took out my iPod Touch and took him into the hallway directly underneath a Wi-Fi emitter. Minutes later, after logging in and out of the WIN, I told him I was unable to show him the App because the school’s internet was down for maintenance, a complete lie to save face and not look foolish because the Wi-Fi doesn’t work.

Campus statements from summer improvements noted that the wireless network has been upgraded to fulfill the needs of its students. People who believe that statement probably believe the moon is made out of cheese. I personally have made eight phone calls since August 26th to the HELP-less Desk complaining about the low strength, slow speeds, and lack of coverage around campus – especially in De La Salle hall where I reside. To this day, there has been no resolution and I wouldn’t hold my breath.

There was a conference held this last week about the concerns of the WIN around campus. It was full of empty promises of “we’re doing everything we can do to fix it.” You’ve had three months and have yet to yield any kind of results. Some would call that being optimistic – I call it failure. I’m glad I don’t work for IT, because I’d feel embarrassed to still have this problem hanging over my head almost an entire semester into the school year. Clearly sitting on our hands isn’t fixing the problem, so do something else instead!

I wish I didn’t pay $8,000 a year to live in a dorm where I have to go down to a dark and deserted Courtyard Café in the middle of the night with my laptop just to check my Facebook. And I wish I could go online and Google some of the artists talked about in Music for the Listener. Lord knows there’s no connection available there. Students who enjoy Limewire and online games share the fury towards the LAN line internet access.

That’s another concern – no students ever stay on campus over the weekends. Can you blame them? I wish I could go home every weekend to enjoy my lightning fast internet and play on XBOX Live too. Do you think if Lewis could provide either of those services, students would more willingly stay on Saturdays and Sundays? Maybe, just maybe – Yes!

My question is: what will it take for this campus to drastically increase the bandwidth and multiply the number of Wi-Fi emitters on campus to accommodate the needs of its students who pay good money to attend such a school and can’t even reap a simple and required utility from it? How much inconvience must the student body experience in order for a solution to be met? And who do we talk to in order to voice our complaints?

The perfect ending to this story would be if there was a website where students had to go to to file complaints, on their computers in their rooms, that don’t have internet accessibility. How ironic would that be? Sadly, not ironic enough.

The Lewis Flyer

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