While researching topics for this very column, I ran into an unexpected, but far too common, occurrence on the WSU-Pullman Campus. My Internet stopped working.
I have been at WSU for about a year and a half now and have yet to have an extremely positive experience with the WSU Internet. Last year, while living in the Streit-Perham residence hall, my main problem with the Internet was its insanely slow speed. Watching videos on YouTube or Netflix was impossible to do without your video needing to buffer every five to ten minutes. This normally is a quick process and is not a major problem. However, on the Internet we are provided with – and pay a large sum of money for – this can take longer than the video you are trying to watch.
This problem was annoying, but most students planned ahead and also learned a thing or two about patience. The Internet appears to be faster this year, but I have not heard anything about the speeds in the residence halls as I live off campus now.
The major problem this year is the Internet not working at all for extended periods of time. This would be fine if the administrators behind updating WSU's Internet needed to make some fixes. If they wanted to make these fixes, they should do so during hours that students do not need the Internet.
The Internet on campus has been having periodic problems since Oct. 16. This has been a major problem not just for me but for other students as well.
On Oct. 18, the Internet crashed at 6:30 p.m. That is peak homework hour for most students. The previous day, the Internet went out in the late morning, sometime between 9 and 11 a.m., which is a procrastinator’s homework time.
I have been told by various students that their teachers have been forced to extend deadlines as the failing Internet has resulted in students not being able to turn in their papers. This may be seen by some as a good thing. However, I see it as an increase in stress. The longer you have an assignment on your plate, the longer you stress about it. In my experience, the more you stress about something, the worse grade you receive for it.
I do not think it is too much to ask for decent Internet. We pay a lot of money to come to this university, which has state of the art equipment and utilities. Internet is one of those expected utilities.
When I lived in the dorm, the school gave me no option to opt out of paying for Internet in order to buy my own Internet. Since we are not given an alternative option, the school should at least have our sole option be a good one.
A better solution would be to allow students to pay extra for another server, which was faster and more reliable. Some may say that the students affected by the Internet crashing should learn their lesson and stop procrastinating. I agree, people should learn to plan ahead, but for some of us who have outside obligations other than school, we only have a few chances to get our work done. In these cases, it is nice to know that the Internet will work for us.
Honestly, I do not believe I am asking too much from the university. All we want is reliable, fast Internet. It is as simple as that. Your move, Wazzu.