IT upgrades campus

By Glenn Battishill

Internet, or the lack thereof, has always been a hot topic on campus. Most students believe that wireless internet on campus has been elusive at best and non- existent at worst, but this year In- formation Technology has ended all Wi-Fi issues by completely re- vamping the wireless network on campus with one catch; students can now only access one Ethernet port per room.

At the end of the spring semes- ter and hot off the heels of a band- width increase, IT set out to create wireless access points across resi- dent halls, academic buildings and finally, administrative buildings. In dorms many Ethernet ports have been rerouted into wireless band- width, leaving only one port per room.

“The design is that most stu- dents use wireless,” Vice President of Information Technology Curtis White said. White said that IT spent the summer replacing all the wireless switches and network switches in the resident halls, but is behind schedule because of delays in receiving new equipment.

White reported that IT is ready to up the bandwidth on campus to accommodate students’ needs. If students want to use more wired ports, IT says that hub switches, not routers, will work on campus.

“We are currently at 180mb/ sec, but we can increase all the way to 1gb/sec at a days notice,” White said. “It’s always a challenge to gauge how much bandwidth stu- dents need.”

IT has also reworked part of their help desk ticketing system. White encourages students to re- port any problems they are having.

“Help tickets keep us in- formed,” White said. “We don’t know there is a problem until stu- dents tell us. We are constantly monitoring help desk tickets.”

In an attempt to be more pres- ent on campus, IT has also ex- tended their weekend hours. IT’s hours are now Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

IT said Monday is always full of people who have been experiencing problems all weekend and wanted to accommodate those needs.

IT also spent the summer in- stalling new software and operating systems in the majority of the lab computers in Kettering and Dauch. White said that IT plans to replace the computers in Pat- terson but are waiting for them to arrive.

IT said they have begun plan- ning mobile apps and web portals for students.

Finally, IT and facilities man- agement and planning have placed two emergency notification speak- ers on campus; one on the quad and one between the recreational center and the student center.

“These speakers allow us to audibly alert students of an emergency,” White said. “Before, we could send out messages to phones and emails but students would be busy and not notice them. This system allows us to in- sure that students are informed.”

Rick Ewing, vice president of Facilities Management and Planning, said that the system is also linked to the county system and will allow the university to warn of natural emergencies, such as tornados.