Say ITSO: Online gaming policies explained

The Lewis University community has experienced growth every year in terms of student enrollment, faculty and staff.  Current enrollment stands at more than 6,000 students with nearly 1,300 students residing on campus.

ITSO is committed to providing solid technology services and resources to the entire community including commuter and resident students as well as faculty and staff that support the University.

Last year, when online gaming was first permitted on the wired network in the residence halls, there were no restrictions in place. Online gaming was permitted both internally (between residence halls) and externally (to sources outside of the Lewis University network).

However, due to the number of online gamers utilizing this bandwidth-consuming service, the performance of our network slowed to the point of being considered a complete network outage. Online gaming had crippled the effective use of our network for academic use.  The University was forced to establish a policy in response to the critical feedback we received from the community at large.

At that time, an administrative decision was made to restrict external online gaming to hours when classes were not in session (10:00 p.m. on weekdays and various hours on weekends).

Internal gaming between students in the residence halls continued to be permitted 24/7.  However, beginning this semester, external gaming hours needed further adjustment so as not to interfere with open lab hours in the library.  This was primarily due to complaints received from students that network services were degraded during the period of 10:00 p.m. to midnight in the library and library lab.

Internal gaming hours remain available 24/7.  External online gaming hours were adjusted and remain as follows:

Every day: 12:01 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.

Weekend Hours: Saturday 7:00 p.m. – Sunday 12:00 p.m.

These guidelines are not meant to deter student recreation, but to prioritize the usage of a limited and valuable resource for teaching and learning.

It is meant to prevent the network from being overwhelmed during academic hours. This decision was made with sincere thought to the entire community while keeping in mind that nothing must interfere with academic resources.

The rule of thumb is that external online gaming will be allowed in the residence halls whenever classes are not in session and the University’s computer labs are closed.

During Super Study Weeks, external online gaming is not allowed as the Library is open 24/7.

We continue to look at options to improve technology services to all students, faculty and staff including our growing population of online gamers.

Say ITSO is a bi-weekly column written by staff members at Lewis’ Instructional Technology Services Organization (ITSO). All submitted questions will be answered by their staff members. All content written in this column are not the views of the editorial staff of The Flyer. Students with questions and concerns regarding technical issues on campus are encouraged to send their queries to bourgahe@lewisu.edu

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