By Madeline Cade, Contributing Writer
In 2016, McKendree gave up cable in order to enhance our Wi-Fi connectivity. Fast forward to 2019 and we have more Wi-Fi problems than before the fix. There seem to be daily complications when completing or turning in online assignments. Ironically, even as I sat writing this piece, there were three times over the course of a few days where I had to stop due to little to no connectivity. I was genuinely interested in hearing what other students had to say about the McKendree Wi-Fi crisis.
I first took to my Instagram to get input directly from students. I set up polls on my story to see what the Bearcats thought about the Wi-Fi. I started my survey by asking if they had ever had a problem with the Wi-Fi. I had 293 McKendree students answer this one. 94% of them said yes while 6% said no. This drastic result means that approximately 275 students have had problems while only 18 have not. While looking through the names of the 18 who had never had problems, 11 of them were first-years. I then asked where they lived on campus. Most of the answers I got came from residents of the West apartment complexes, closely followed by those who live at New Residence Halls. From personal experience, West Wi-Fi has been atrocious. There have been multiple nights where I have had to leave my apartment late and to go to the library to finish an assignment or worse: wake up early and hope that the connection is fixed. I next asked about how many days they have problems. Out of the 281 answers, 146, or 52%, said that they ran into problems during 1-3 days of the week. The other 135, or 48%, said that they had problems during 4-7 days of the week. The last question that I asked was if professors were lenient with Wi-Fi-related problems dealing with assignment submissions. This also had close results. Forty-one percent of the 278 students who answered this one said yes. The other 165, or 59%, said that their professors were not lenient. This gets into some of the statements I got from students.
I then went to my Snapchat to ask for stories from students. Sophomore Kenny Thomason said, “I was in the middle of a quiz on Blackboard and the Wi-Fi stopped working. And the professor didn’t allow me to redo the quiz. Just got a zero for it.” Another student, who preferred to stay anonymous, stated that she turned in a post lab and walked to class. The Wi-Fi made it buffer and then stopped working completely. Her lab never turned in. Her professor did not extend the date or let her turn it back in. She said her professor thought she was making an excuse for unfinished work and simply told her to turn it in earlier the next time. When I took the poll on my instagram, it did shock me how many people said that their professors were not lenient with Wi-Fi-related problems. If the student cannot control the issue, it is frustrating to have to take the blame and watch our grades suffer. Sophomore Allissa Maldonado said that at Triplex, they don’t even have access to the router. “The Wi-Fi always goes out; at least once a week, we have to call someone to fix it. It would be helpful if we at least had access to the router so we could fix it ourselves. It always has issues, and even the RA doesn’t have access to it.”
I had many people send me their frustrations about the Wi-Fi and ask why this was a huge issue that no one was fixing. I couldn’t give them answers. Our only hope is that the connection improves, and we can finish assignments without that interruption.
Featured Image: Claire Jennings letting out her frustrations at the library- Madeline Cade
Wi-Fi symbol- www.google.com