21st century high-speed Internet a necessity, not a luxury

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ITS sent out an email to selected students to take a survey regarding library and other technological services. Clearly they have never tried to use the Internet at 10 p.m. when it is at its highest usage, when it moves slower than a slug crossing an entire swamp. Because if they had, in fact, used the Internet during that time, they would not need a survey. The Internet on this campus is clearly far below par for three primary reasons.

Firstly, the internet simply does not work in the library: loading even oxyconnect takes an excruciatingly long period of time. The library is the most necessary place for the Internet to perform consistently and quickly. It is the central hub on campus for academic research and scholarship, yet the Internet makes work increasingly difficult as the semester progresses. When someone says, “fourscore and seven years ago, I started loading my email,” then there is a serious issue with the Internet.

Furthermore, the other central Internet hubs on campus (the Marketplace, Green Bean and residence halls) also have horrid Internet access. These are places that should have the fastest connections because, after all, the students are the ones who need it the most. Thus, ITS should focus efforts on these locations to improve the Internet.

It is actually astonishing that a school like UCLA can serve something like 40,000 students with lightning fast Wi-Fi, and Occidental cannot even give adequate service to 2,000.

Secondly, some students have had to resort to using ethernet cables to get around the sluggish Internet connection. But there are no outlets in the library, or at least not nearly enough to serve the number of students that need it everyday; neither are there enough ethernet cables in the central Internet hubs on campus. In addition, in many dorm rooms, there are not enough sockets to allow every roommate access. ITS should also give every student equal opportunity to the ethernet.

Thirdly, the college invests incredible amounts of money into the new technologies being put into Swan and Johnson, but the rest of the technology on campus, particularly the Internet, resembles relics from the stone age. The Dell laptops in the computer labs in the residence halls are virtually prehistoric. It is frankly unacceptable that a college that claims to be a progressive school of the 21st century still uses antiquated technology. Rather than investing in technology for faculty that spends significantly less time on campus than students, the college should upgrade the technology given to those who pay for the services not being provided.

In 21st century academic culture where students are expected to complete much of their coursework using the Internet, whether downloading readings or participating in moodle forums, a consistent and reasonably fast Internet connection is not simply a luxury but a necessity.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.

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