Freshman Idea: Rider’s Internet needs to improve reliability

In this day and age, the Internet is something we often take for granted. For most college students, Internet access is something that has been available since they were old enough to use a computer. Whether it is for Facebook, homework or just to Google something, most students are dependent on it in some way.

Since arriving at Rider, however, many students have occasionally experienced the unexpected and annoying loss of Internet access. It can last anywhere from just a few minutes to a few days. But why should it even happen at all? In a society where technology is such a big part of our lives, why do Rider students have to deal with this problem?

For almost all of my classes, I need to check Blackboard and student webmail at least once a day. My professors demand that I print out articles from online sources or e-mail in papers. In other classes, the homework is online and often due several times a week. How are we expected to do this when we can’t even access the websites? In many cases I was not able to complete my homework because the Internet was not working.

Homework and papers are a big part of college, but there is still a need for students to have a social life. As a freshman, I frequently miss my friends from back home. If I’m feeling a little homesick I love being able to talk with them online, or have a long video-chat conversation with them. When the Internet is down, I do not have the opportunity to do this.

The good news is, there are things you can do if you have a last-minute assignment and no Internet. The library always has a connection, so you can either bring your laptop and set it up on one of the tables or take advantage of one of the many computers available.

Also, there is the possibility that something might be wrong with your computer. Try shutting it down and turning it back on. If the connection has not returned, you can bring your laptop to the Office of Information Technologies to diagnose and fix the problem. However, this service is only available for students who purchased their computers through the University. Otherwise, they will only give you basic information, but will do all they can to solve the problem, especially if it involves Blackboard or webmail.

The Internet is important for all students at Rider. It doesn’t matter if it’s for academic reasons or just as a way for students to socialize and relax. We live in a time when the Internet should be constantly accessible. If it’s not, then Rider should update its technology and work toward fixing the problem.

– Tracy Mitchell

Freshman English major

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