Fear and Loathing in Bender Library: AU Wifi is down again

By Joey Krassner

Imagine this: You just finished a major paper. It’s late. 11:55 p.m. which still gives you four minutes to turn it in. You downed your 5th cup of Starbucks since you have the caffeine tolerance of a Wall Street executive and coffee more or less seems like water. You open up the Blackboard, but since Blackboard logs you out after a certain amount of time, you refresh the page only to see that Blackboard won’t load and you’re not connected to eagle-secure. That’s great, so you switch to AUGuest only to find the internet dead in the water there as well. You rush to the library to use one of the school’s computers and you do turn in that paper… but it’s 12:02am and the assignment is late. 

For anyone attending any college, the internet is more or less equivalent to air, which means any dramatic changes within a university’s Wi-Fi service chokes the ever living hell out of all students. Recently I’ve noticed that the internet either disconnects me for no reason or will randomly take forever to load websites such as Blackboard. For all the gamers saying “use a VPN” please stop. I’m somewhat technology illiterate and all I’m trying to do is access Blackboard so I can turn in my paper 5 minutes before the deadline. I understand there are ways to circumvent the problem of terrible internet, however, the options are limited. I could use the VPN that would most likely require a certain fee each month which I’m personally unwilling to pay or I could just go to the Starbucks on New Mexico Ave, but with the cold arriving quickly, I’m more interested in solutions that don’t require to go far from my dorm or the library.  

I understand that what I’m saying is a rant and I’m just blowing off steam, but the internet situation is something so important that pretty much every time I use my laptop to complete work online, I have to consciously think about whether or not the internet will give out on me. Even one of my professors said students should complete their take home final on a separate Word document in the event that the internet gives out. It seems like that no matter what type of work you do specifically at AU, it’s connected to the internet in one form or another. But is this our fault? Are students relying too heavily on laptops to pass their classes? It’s easy to say yes, but I’d argue that AU classes are structured so students are dependent on Blackboard, Eagle Secure, and other internet based services in order to do anything at AU. 

I’m not arguing that the direction AU is heading in is bad. In fact, I support AU’s decision to use and utilize technology to its maximum capacity, but their needs to be a solid infrastructure for it, especially now that AU is carbon neutral and all AU faculty and staff are for the most part forced to learn how to use technology. With finals week coming to a close, I think it’s become more important than ever for AU to take a serious look at its technological infrastructure and see if it's up to part with its students and its self-standards.

  I’m finishing this article up in Bender Library. My laptop was struggling to connect to the internet earlier so I had to finish this article today. It’s Monday and my phone disconnected from AU wifi for the fourth time today as well so the issue isn’t isolated to my laptop. I’m scared even though most of my finals are done for the day. What does this mean? I shouldn’t be scared of the internet. AU please fix this! I can’t have more fear and loathing in Bender. It’s just too much.


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