In a world that depends on Twitter, Facebook and email as the main forms of communication, a strong, reliable Internet connection is crucial. At Keene State College, students rely on Wi-Fi around campus as a means of both social interaction and a way to stay up to date with class schedules, assignments, and research for all of their homework needs.
According to Laura Seraichick, the chief information officer of the Information Technology group, “We’re in the third year of a four-year plan to install wireless end to end on the campus. So that means every building and also that means some of the green spaces on campus. It was a four-year plan and we’re in the third year. The first year the plan was all the classrooms. The second year the plan was res[idence] halls. The third year the plan was the remaining res[idence] halls. So as of now, which is February 1, all the res[idence] halls have wireless in them.”
For students who like to surf the web outside, Seraichick said, “We’ll finish up the administrative buildings and also some of the green spaces. We would want to install access points so we can have a really good strong coverage. Those green spaces obviously the quad, down by the dining commons there’s more green space down there, we haven’t totally decided on all of those.”
Seraichick also said to decide where the Internet will be, “We’re hoping to use some of the master planning that’s going on where the students have been identifying where they congregate on campus and outside kinds of spaces and we’ll use that to help influence it and we talk to student assembly.”
Junior Brian Cote, a Mason Library student assistant said, “When there’s a lot of people in the library like finals week or something it [Internet] just kicks out. Like it’s not able to handle every person using it.”
Cote also said, “It is chaotic because everyone comes up and blames us because it’s ‘our fault.’ We do have Ethernet cords that they can rent out but the only issue with that is that upstairs in the cubicles are like the only section that has the capability of plugging them in.”
Sophomore Olivia Chiacchia said last week her Internet was not working in Owls’ Nest Six and had to go to the library to use the internet there. Seraichick said that when students come with issues with the Internet they usually go to the HelpDesk, “I’ve actually had a student reach out to me in the fall right before break saying she is really having a hard time, it [Internet] kept going down and wouldn’t come back for x amount of time.” Cote said that when there are Internet issues in the library, “They [students] usually tell us that the internet is not working, like, ‘oh thanks we know.’ We have an IT person here that we have to call and they try and fix it. So basically they ask what they can do and I say basically all you can do is wait until it turns back on.”
Seraichick said she doesn’t get a lot of calls about the Internet not working, “I would say that, you know as we started to flow it and we didn’t see issues that much when we put it [Internet] in the classrooms but when we started going to the res halls that’s where we saw it because students were using it, which is great because that’s what we want that’s what students had asked for, students were really driving this initiative.” Joe Grasso, a freshman who lives in Monadnock, said that the Wi-Fi in the dorms is “sometimes pretty bad at certain times of the night.” He also said, “It’s always at the worst time when you’re trying to find out if your class is cancelled or if you’re doing research.” He thinks that the Internet is slow at night “because everyone is using it at the same time to do work or just using the Internet.”
Seraichick said, “It’s somewhat of a learning curve of saying, okay, do you have enough access points so everyone can be on and get a fairly good pan wave on it? Because the average now is every student comes with like 3.5 devices or something. We know these things are always connected and so they’re always on a wireless.” Seraichick also said, “We know that our wireless vendor also does Fenway in Boston. They have the same problems at Fenway Park because what they originally installed was not enough for all the people who show up there and all the devices that want to connect. Glad to know we’re not alone and glad to know it’s Fenway.”
If students have any trouble with the Internet Seraichick said, “I would really encourage that of all student all the time is that if you are experiencing something that you say, ‘This isn’t right’ or ‘This shouldn’t be happening’ to call the HelpDesk and log it there.”
“We try and we have tools so that we can be proactive in monitoring and seeing what is happening and causing an issue to people but we also really rely on people to call us and say, ‘Hey this is not quite right,’” she said.
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