The inconsistency that Pierce College’s Wi-Fi is infamous for has become the running joke on campus, and the frustration experienced by not having a connection is universal.
We pay our fees and come to class, so why are we being subjected to what can only be referred to as modern-day torture?
This struggle has existed since Wi-Fi was first implemented on campus. With the long list of problems that is created by faulty connectivity, a long list of failed solutions has followed suit.
Last year, there was an attempt to regulate users by restricting access to everyone except students and staff. This practice utilized the student numbers and PINs given while registering at Pierce.
This significantly reduced the strain caused by large amounts of people trying to gain access simultaneously, but it also seemed to have a problem deciding whether or not to display the screen that allowed you to enter the necessary information.
Some professors decided to lug around a 30-foot cable that allowed an Internet connection through the use of antiquated telephone ports.
For the faculty members who chose not to carry one, or had no knowledge of their existence, an Ethernet cable was out of the question.
Without access to the World Wide Web, instructors lose a pillar of resources that should be available at all times.
Poor Wi-Fi performance might be fine for those in a math class, where all that is required is a piece of chalk, but this leaves specific departments in what can only be described as a bare-bones operation that no amount of arithmetic will solve.
Last month, an automotive class marched from the outskirts of campus all the way to the IT department led by their professor. No one was able to get online, so all productivity halted.
On a smaller scale, yet just as infuriating, time-sensitive assignments place student success in jeopardy if they depend on Internet connectivity.
It is not an unreasonable assumption that the lack of Internet on campus has created or at least led to the staff aversion of Moodle.
The quality of our Moodle service is a separate but equal issue. Professors aren’t able to submit grades or keep students informed of the workflow for that week.
The Pierce College library was supposed to be a beacon of light and our guide through the storm, yet last semester, during finals week nonetheless, if you had brought in your personal web-enabled device you were pretty much out of luck.
By the time you realized that the connectivity problem was the fault of the Wi-Fi and not your device, all the computers that were wired-in were taken.
What was a student to do?
Having multiple finals to study for, I had what I would still refer to as a stroke of genius. I packed my laptop, charger and other tools, and headed to Taco Bell.
I had discovered that Taco Bell offered free Wi-Fi. Better Wi-Fi than Pierce.
A couple hours and a reasonable amount of burritos later, I had successfully led a cram session for a study group in my class.
It is understandable that the allocation of resources needed to remedy our situation cannot be a simple task, but promises are made every year that only raise our expectations.
But every year, like clockwork, these expectations aren’t met.