The Daily Illini

Editorial: An annoyance students can agree on

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

If Yik Yak posts, angry tweets and gripes shared amongst students are any indication, University students are not satisfied with the University’s wireless Internet service.

How many times have students panicked, turning their Wi-Fi on and off as the clock slowly ticked toward their deadline?

How many times have students dumbfoundedly stared at their computer in horror after their quiz refreshed because the WiFi turned off?

Most importantly, how many times have students had to watch, frustrated as Netflix refused to load?

Internet connection is something we collectively struggle with as a campus. People on this campus may be of differing opinions about whether or not to bring back the Chief, but they are of one opinion with regards to the Internet: It can be vastly improved.

While providing Internet service to around 85,000 devices each day is admittedly no easy task, students shouldn’t be forced to live in constant fear that the slightest movement will interrupt their connection.UIUCnet Wireless and IllinoisNet are both wireless services we’re familiar with as students. They’re supposed to be accessible everywhere on campus. Yet, while many of our classes rely on online-based learning, the University has done seemingly little to ensure that students receive a reliable connection in dorms, the library and class.

The connections throughout campus continue to impact not just students. Visitors, faculty and staff at the University also face issues of connectivity, causing the concern to reach beyond the campus community.

Internet connection shouldn’t be a privilege on campus. Instead, with the University’s focus on online platforms such as Moodle and Compass, it should be treated as a necessity, a requirement for not only students’ personal lives, but also for their education. Compass plays a significant role in many classes as lectures, homework and even quizzes have moved online.

The University has indicated that it plans to continue its use of online teaching by offering more online classes during the traditional academic school year in addition with the summer and winter terms.

But students can never truly benefit from the opportunities that this new style of learning offers if they can’t even access the course information effectively.

The town hall that the Office of the Chief Information Officer held on Sept. 29 is a step in the right direction. But if the University plans to continue its expansion of its online presence, it therefore holds true that the University has a duty to ensure that all students are able to access these required resources.

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