Vern residence halls go wireless

Nearly all students living on the Mount Vernon Campus can now access the Internet wirelessly in their residence halls.

Every residence hall on the Mount Vernon campus, except Pelham Hall, now has wireless Internet connection capabilities throughout the building, said Robert Snyder, director of Mount Vernon Campus life and marketing.

“I think it gives residents the ability to use the campus with the freedom we want them to have,” Snyder said. “You have the ability to be free, to go wireless (almost) anywhere.”

Alexa Kim, executive director of Information Systems and Services Technology Services, wrote in an e-mail that her department did not encounter any major obstacles implementing the wireless technology and that the expanded capabilities were ready for the start of the fall semester.

Kim said various University departments from Residential Property Management to GW Housing Programs pushed for this expansion.

“GWHP and the (Student and Academic Support Services) division are large supporters of wireless expansion where possible,” wrote Matt Trainum, a director of GW Housing Programs, in an e-mail. He said GW Housing Programs was proud to be a part of the expansion.

“Expanded Internet access is popular amongst students and therefore a goal of many offices,” Trainum said.

Residents were pleasantly surprised.

“I think it’s pretty great,” said Louis Nelson, a freshman who lives on the Mount Vernon Campus. Nelson said he still uses his ethernet connection because he thinks it is faster but added the expanded wireless options are convenient.

Matt Gardner, a freshman who also lives on the Mount Vernon Campus, takes advantage of the new options to spend time outside.

“I think it’s pretty sweet because my friends and I, we sit outside the pub and do our homework,” Gardner said.

Student Association Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger said the expanded wireless network is fantastic. Advocating for the expansion of GWireless throughout the University was part of Kroeger’s campaign platform last spring.

“Students have been advocating for expanding wireless capabilities for many years,” said Kroeger, a junior. “(SA President) Nicole Capp and I made it a priority to advocate on behalf of expanding wireless.”

Kim said the expansion of wireless capabilities on Foggy Bottom is ongoing, but she said it depends on resource availability.

“Mount Vernon is a more enclosed space and ubiquitous coverage was achieved cost effectively,” Kim said. “Foggy Bottom is larger, and thus requires more balance of resources.”

“Wireless hubs have expanded in Foggy Bottom halls over the last year with wireless introduced in many public areas,” Trainum said.

Common areas in 16 residence halls on Foggy Bottom now have wireless capabilities.

“The campuses are different enough spatially that it is impossible for me to give a timeframe,” Kim said.

Kroeger said part of his vision is a completely wireless GW campus, and all of the recent expansion is “putting us closer and closer to that goal.”

“We heard from students that they wanted it, and we brought it,” Snyder said. n

Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.

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