Students continue to struggle with spotty WiFi connection on campus

By Lucy Verlaque
Elm Staff Writer

School has been in session for almost a month now at Washington College, and students’ reactions to in-person classes and on-campus residency have been overwhelmingly positive.

While the start of the semester has been uplifting in many ways, one aspect of being on campus has posed a challenge for students: the College’s WiFi.

Many students have experienced issues relating to the College’s WiFi server, including battling poor connection and not being able to connect to the WiFi at all. While it could seem like nothing more than a minor inconvenience, the connection problems have real consequences for students who rely on the internet for academic purposes.

In classes that require internet use, the poor connection can interfere with getting work done.

“I kept getting kicked out of the browser I was using, which was kind of distracting in class,” junior Erica Ekholm said.

Even outside of the classroom, accessing online coursework is proving to be troublesome.

The website Canvas is used by professors to post information, resources, and homework assignments related to their classes. In order to complete certain lessons, it is a requirement that students utilize this site.

However, without a steady connection, obtaining these resources and turning in graded coursework can be a challenge. I myself have experienced difficulties connecting to the site, loading materials, and even submitting assignments.

Struggling with a poor connection while trying to complete work can also hinder students’ ability to focus.

“It’s frustrating because when you sit down and you’re ready to actually do some work and the WiFi cuts out, it interrupts your motivation and your flow,” freshman Brynn Castellani said.

These disruptions are especially trying when due dates and deadlines are taken into consideration. Meeting time requirements is difficult when bad connection prevents online materials from loading.

“We should have consistent, good WiFi to get things done whenever we want,” Castellani said.

Connectivity issues extend beyond academics. A faulty internet connection can also impact communication through text messaging, phone calls, and FaceTime.

“I’ll be in dead zones [on campus]. My texts won’t go through,” freshman Riley Dauber said. “My roommate actually tried to call me the other day because she got locked out of our room, and I didn’t get the call at all.”

Dauber also faced poor connection when trying to video call using FaceTime. “If I FaceTime my friends in my dorm, I have to move around and make sure I’m in a good area so the WiFi will work,” Dauber said.

I have also attempted to FaceTime friends and family back home, but the call never lasts more than a couple of minutes before freezing and failing. Not being able to contact loved ones in this way is frustrating, especially when so many of us are away from home.

Ekholm, Castellani, and Dauber all agreed that this problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

“I think they should fix it. We pay a lot of money to go here, and I feel like having WiFi isn’t too much to ask for,” Ekholm said.

As so much of our coursework has become dependent on the internet, it is necessary for students to have access to a reliable internet connection. Not having that resource puts academic performance at risk. Furthermore, the lack of working WiFi deprives us of various forms of communication. It is essential that this issue is resolved in order to ensure a productive and trouble-free fall semester.

Photo by Samantha Jarrett

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