Alyssa Rosenthal: Enough with the GWireless timeouts

GW students want to know what’s going on with their Internet.?

GWireless, the on-campus connection to the Web, is reliably unreliable. Internet has timed out too many times to count this semester, causing major inconveniences to students attempting to take online quizzes or complete homework assignments.

GW doesn’t seem to understand that the lack of Internet is not just a problem because we can’t watch Hulu.?Cutting off the Internet subjects students to disadvantages in the classroom. When the Internet arbitrarily times out, so does the student’s work, unless the issue is taken up with a merciful professor.?

I asked Rachel Blevins, a communication and marketing manager for the Division of Information Technology, how difficult it is for GW to respond to GWireless timeouts and Internet failures. She told me these issues can be resolved quickly, as long as a student submits a Web ticket to ISS outlining his or her problem. This seems like an illogical answer to the problem. How can you send ISS an electronic ticket saying your wireless is down when you have no Internet?

After talking to students across several residence halls, I realized this technological turmoil is hardly an isolated incident.

On one Saturday in December, the Internet in West Hall timed out for the entire day, sparking an exodus to the already overcrowded Eckles and Gelman libraries during finals weekend.?

GW either needs to fix GWireless or stop assigning anything that has to do with the Internet.?And since the latter is practically impossible, GW must address the former in a more innovative way.

It makes no sense that when the Internet times out we are expected to electronically notify ISS of this.? Obviously when the Internet times out, I can’t e-mail ISS and let it know. I also don’t see myself walking up to Eckles or hopping on the bus to Foggy when the Internet times out at about 11 p.m. – which I have found that, individually, is my Internet’s favorite time to ignore my requests to log in – just to see if ISS could maybe do something to save my grade.?

It is a good thing that ISS culls Web ticket complaints about GWireless timeouts and attempts to resolve them. But aside from the logistical obstacle of not being able to notify ISS when the Internet is down, too many students have never heard of ISS.

ISS needs to create a better plan when it comes to addressing student complaints because an online ticket just isn’t going to cut it.

Alyssa Rosenthal is a freshman majoring in journalism.

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