Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

UIS Needs Upgrading

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When Georgetown seniors were incoming first-year students, they only had 20 megabytes of storage available on their GUMail accounts, and wireless Internet access was only available in certain areas on campus. Four years later, not much has changed. It seems the technological revolution is thriving everywhere except Georgetown, which has clearly failed to keep up. Students still receive the same amount of e-mail storage space that they did four years ago, and wireless Internet access on campus remains limited. In this day and age, e-mail communication is no longer a privilege or an asset, it’s essential; students and faculty not only use it as a primary form of communication, but they also require it to send large files, including class assignments, projects and readings. E-mails which include these files (such as music and picture files) necessitate a certain amount of space for them to be sent successfully. For that very reason, 20 megabytes is no longer acceptable. It is not uncommon for a student to receive dozens of e-mails in a single day, and consequentially find his or her mailbox full to capacity on a regular basis. This often prevents students from receiving important e-mails. Similarly, professors are plagued with annoying bounced-back messages. In addition, access to the university’s wireless network has long been a problem for many Hoyas at the same time that access has proliferated significantly at many other universities. While the network now reaches some newer buildings, such as the Southwest Quad and New South, students still find trouble logging on in parts of Lauinger, in many residence halls and in almost any outdoor location apart from Healy Lawn. This is not to say that Georgetown has not improved its technology capabilities in other areas. University Information Services will soon unveil a wireless network with enhanced security features to replace the unsecured network currently in use. Many classrooms, including those in Reiss, have been remodeled and now have resources that allow for faculty to implement cutting-edge technology during their lessons. We applaud Georgetown administrators and UIS for these improvements. But long-term student technology issues remain, and they will continue to pose a problem if not addressed by administrators in the near future. UIS may be improving the security of its wireless network, but it also said there are no plans at this point to expand wireless coverage to additional areas of campus. Meanwhile, other universities have wireless networks that cover their entire campuses, and they offer e-mail accounts with nearly five times the space offered by GUMail. Take Duke University, for example, which offers 100-megabyte e-mail accounts to each undergraduate and faculty member. Duke also constantly works to expand the coverage of its wireless network. Georgetown and UIS clearly need to take the lead in initiating technological improvements that could benefit the entire campus. In an environment where technology is continually improving and students keep demanding more of it, it is easy for an institution to fall behind. We cannot expect that by treading water, we will be able to keep up with the technological advancements which so many other universities are utilizing on their campuses. A much-needed facelift for Georgetown’s technology services, beginning with higher-capacity e-mail accounts and a more expansive wireless networks, will eliminate the disadvantage which Georgetown students currently face in the realm of technology.

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