Internet and Webmail failures unacceptable

Another week, and another e-mail interruption. It seems like not a day goes by when something doesn’t go wrong with the internet or Webmail. If the problem isn’t being unable to access the internet, it’s being unable to open Webmail, or being teased by having Webmail open and then quickly close.

We are supposed to be one of the most wired campuses in the country, and yet the seemingly simple task of checking e-mail has become a baffling ordeal, as has accessing the internet.

For much of this week, Webmail has experienced technical difficulties. Furthermore, many e-mails from teachers simply get blocked thanks to the new spam filter. While the effort to try and keep students from getting needless messages is appreciated, it’s rather frustrating to miss out on a message from a teacher telling students what is on an upcoming test because the filter blocks it.

Given how much emphasis we place on the internet, it seems reasonable to expect e-mail and the internet to work. Teachers routinely post assignments on WebCT and also correspond via e-mail with their classes. Furthermore, many applications, such as those for internships and graduate schools, are done online. Constantly losing an internet connection while trying to fill out one of these applications can be a very frustrating ordeal.

Add to this the spotty wireless and slow connections even when the internet is working and it makes for a very exasperating experience.

When students sit down to do research at their computer for a paper on a weekend, it is not an unreasonable expectation that they should be able to access the internet. Last year Good Counsel lost internet access for an entire weekend. This past weekend, many West campus students lost a connection for hours, even days. These failures disrupt students’ schedules and their ability to perform some of the most basic tasks, such as retrieving a homework assignment.

The internet isn’t a fad. It has reached the point where it is practically a necessity, and students and teachers have come to expect to be able to use it as a common method for communicating and performing assignments.

UNIT has attempted to resolve these issues and has kept in touch with students via e-mail informing them of the problems and what is being done to fix them. This is appreciated because it reassures students; however, the problems still remain.

Villanova University was ranked in the top 10 for most wired college campuses by the Princeton Review. It’s time we started living up to that.