For as long as many current FSU students can remember, using the campus WiFi has been a struggle.
Whether they are attempting to complete their homework in the commuter caf or research for a paper in their dorm rooms, the unstable WiFi access usually renders students incapable of accomplishing the task at hand.
We at The Gatepost believe the University should not only invest in more bandwidth and routers for the WiFi, but also a new network. FSU should create a second WiFi which would be password-protected and only available to students, faculty, staff and administrators.
What may have pushed students within recent years to be even more vocal about the WiFi than ever before is the opening of North and West Halls. These latest two residence buildings have no Ethernet ports installed – meaning students are not able to connect straight to the Internet and are forced to rely on the already weak WiFi signal.
Additionally, in West Hall, there are many rooms which are outside of the WiFi’s range. How is it that in today’s age residence halls are being constructed on campus without stable access to the WiFi?
Students are here to learn. In 2016, learning often takes place online, by using Blackboard, databases for researching, my.framingham.edu, mymathlab, Google Docs and connecting to online texts.
Down time is also an important part of a student’s college experience, and students usually rely on the WiFi in order to relax. Getting friends together to watch a movie or T.V. show on Netflix or Hulu can be almost impossible in some dorms, with students even going to academic buildings like the McCarthy Center to watch shows on the projectors in the classrooms.
With nearly 5,000 people on campus every week day, separating the WiFi by FSU community and the public would make connecting much easier and therefore increase productivity.
Many universities – Boston University, Harvard University and the University of Maine – already have this system in place. Preventing random people from accessing, and thereby slowing down the WiFi will allow for more bandwidth for the FSU community to share.
For a close-to-home comparison, Fitchburg State University has 6,807 faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, according to its website – not too far off from Framingham State’s approximation – and there are different networks for employees, adjunct faculty and employees, students and the public, with the former three all requiring log in credentials.
The need for better WiFi has been among students’ and professors’ top requests for years, and the lack of action to fix this problem needs to be addressed.
After all, students pay to attend this University. They should not have to leave their residence halls or have to connect directly to the Internet through an Ethernet port to submit a discussion board post.