If Only I had Access to the Internet…

Erica Giannelli

Returning to the University of New Haven this year, as a junior, I expected most things to be similar to previous years: the amazing Ceasar salads from Sandella’s, the continuously breaking Soundview elevators and the quick and easy-to-use Wi-Fi access. One of these I was completely wrong about. Can you guess? Give up? It’s the campus Wi-Fi access.

Freshman and sophomore year I never found myself getting as worked up over internet access as I do this year. Checking my e-mail, sending homework into Blackboard, and taking a quick peak at Facebook has never been as difficult as they are now that UNH has “upgraded” its Wi-Fi.

The first day that I set foot on this campus, I opened up my laptop and proceeded to log in to the Wi-Fi. What did I find? My computer was no longer acquiring access to UNH student and I had no idea why. Scrolling through my e-mail, using my iPhone’s 3G internet access, I noticed the message explaining to students about the new and improved Wi-Fi. Annoyed by this information, I attempted to follow the directions preparing me for my wireless access. After eventually realizing that I now needed my e-mail and password to login, one of the first things that I noticed was the fact that I had to accept something called, “SafeConnect,” to ensure that all computers using the network are harmless. I guess this makes sense. After agreeing to these terms, and thanking my iPhone’s 3G for its two hours worth of help, I was finally able to access the internet using my laptop.

Now if only I had come to UNH with just a laptop needing Wi-Fi access. Of course I had to bring along my PlayStation 3. You can only imagine what it was like attempting to hook that up. I must have contacted a laundry list of people on Facebook trying to get answers on how to use this mysterious network known as “Devices.” After much debate, my fellow Facebook friends and I were able to partially understand the network. Even though my PlayStation is currently connected to “Devices,” I would say I have internet access about 20 percent of the time…so forget about those days where all I want to do is watch Netflix.

It’s not even just me that experiences this turmoil with the new Wi-Fi. One of the most unbelievable moments was when I was causally sitting in one of my classes and a classmate sitting next to me says something along the lines of, “wow, I’m practically quarantined out of the internet ‘cause I have a mac.” Apparently now, even if you have a MacBook, you must purchase some type of antivirus software before obtaining clearance to access the internet. It seems completely ridiculous that any student paying to attend UNH would be completely denied access to one of the most valuable resources to mankind. How were these students expected to hand in assignments, or even complete them, without the permission to go online?

Overall, this new Wi-Fi system does not meet the standards for any type of private university. It constantly loses connection, putting all students in a moment of distress as online assignments are lost in thin air and e-mail access becomes almost non-existent. If nothing was wrong with the previous Wi-Fi, it is not clear as to why we have switched to something so completely unreliable.

Is it too hard to ask for guaranteed permission to complete online assignments on time, after paying thousands of dollars to attend this school? We, as students, deserve better, especially when it is something as simple as dependable internet access.