By: Jonelle Bobak and Ellen Laws
Frustration levels of students, faculty, and staff increased on Gardner-Webb’s campus when they experienced the Internet connection was suddenly cut off.
On Tuesday morning, around 11 a.m., Internet connection was lost. Technology services was notified by their prior Internet provider, RST one hour after the cutoff. RST’s response was, “We had a cut in the system.”
Greg Humphries, Associate VP for Technology Services said, “That afternoon we switched to Time Warner Cable.” To prevent another outage, Technology Services has a back-up plan. “We are looking into a second company that would be our fail-over if we ever lost connection again,” Humphries said. It would not be as fast as TWC, but it would keep us connected Humphries added.
Technology Services will be starting a new program to help students with computer problems. Residential Techs, who have been trained by Technology Services, will be available throughout the day, in Room 145 on the bottom floor of Tucker. “These residential techs will be able to do the basic things, such as help with internet connectivity problems, virus protection, and more,” Humphries said.
During the internet outage, many students had differing opinions.
Sophomore, Austin Beasley, was frustrated. “It’s just annoying, I was supposed to take a test online and couldn’t,” he said. He also was unable to play his Xbox.
Students were forced to use their data during the outage. Madison Swift, a sophomore, was worried about her cellphone bill for this month. “My mother is going to be mad at me after this month,” Swift said.
Rebecca Pittman, a sophomore, was not too worried about not having Wi-Fi. “It was stressful, but all in all it was only two days,” Pittman said.
Teresa Davis, Secretary for the Office of Christian Life and Service, was happy to be out of her office. “Everything I deal with is on the computer,” she said. The phone lines were down as well because they were synced with the Internet.
The Nursing program at Gardner-Webb relies heavily on technology. Dr. Nicole Waters, an Assistant Professor of Nursing, was thrown off her schedule due to the disconnection. “We couldn’t show videos in class and not being able to use our iPads was an issue,” said Waters. “This makes you realize how much we rely on the Internet.”
Dr. Janet Land, an adjunct in the English Department, and the director of the GWU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) made a few comments about the internet ordeal. “Once the internet went out all the online courses in the Graduate Programs were cancelled. So we had to reschedule all of our online classes. Teachers and students could not access WebbConnect, Blackboard, and the Gardner-Webb website.”
According to Dr. Land, “These days, students have smart phones, tablets, and laptops. So it is harder for the IT department to keep up with the growth of devices on campus.”