An imperfect Wi-Fi? YCP students have their issues with the current setup

By Julian Leon

SENIOR Grier Martin has experienced Wi-Fi issues on the York College campus for the past four years. It’s one thing he won’t miss once she graduates.

 “Our Wi-Fi is nowhere near what it should be for our students to be able to get things done,” he said recently. “I could be five feet away from my dorm’s router and it will still take me 10 minutes to connect.”

Sophomore Liam Perrin echoed Martin’s complaints, noting that he even experiences issues connecting his laptop to the Wi-Fi when moving between buildings on campus.

“Everytime I go to a different building on campus I have to wait five to ten minutes just for my laptop to pick up a signal.”

Wi-Fi is an issue for many universities, causing constant crashes, dead zones on campus, lack of high-quality speeds and accessibility on different devices. York College is one of those schools that suffers from all of the above issues, and these are problems that students on campus, where residents or commuters, feel strongly about. Campuses run on Wi-Fi; we live in a day and age where it’s the only way to get work done and be productive with the amount of usage of technology that is required of students.

Rob Yoka, director of infrastructure and security services at York College, understands the importance of a stable Wi-Fi system that functions well across campus. Asked about the quality of the school’s system, he said that it’s “very updated in terms of our wireless network servers and technology compared to other schools.”

When there are problems, he stressed that as a school “we have a really strong technological department in maintaining our campuses wireless connection.”

But he also said that what helps them to be better is when students come to them with issues, where as a staff they can determine a problem that may link to something bigger and can be eliminated for good.

That staff, according to Yoka and Ilya Yakovlev, the chief information officer, includes six total staff members in charge of the wireless network side. Five staff members are in charge of the actual servers themselves, they said.

Those numbers are down from a couple years ago, according to Michael Reisinger, a former employee of the York College LTS help desk. “Ever since COVID the IT department has lost a lot of employees, so it’s hard for them to keep everything up to date when they don’t have enough student workers to roll out these new devices.”

Yoka agreed that the number of buildings across campus can create issues with minimal staff members, especially with addressing connectivity issues vs. handling students issues themselves.

“We have a really strong technological department in maintaining our campuses wireless connection.”

Rob Yoka, director of infrastructure and security services at York College

He added that power outages are what mainly causes issues in the dorms with the network switches when the power goes out. But due to supply chain issues, LTS is not getting the proper technology they need to respond to certain issues in dorms and buildings.

Whatever the issue, Yoka stressed, contacting the LTS desk is key to solving them as soon as possible. “It helps the department handle more issues and response times and getting equipment. Loner laptops are a great tool more students should continue if their device is older and struggling to connect to the internet loners are an escape to better connect with the network itself,” he said.

As mentioned above, this isn’t a problem unique to York College.

Tommy Wunder, an accounting major at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), said he experiences many of the same issues YCP students go through. “On the first day of classes my senior year, the Wi-Fi went out all across campus for about two hours,” he said. “Most of our classrooms have wired computers so the teachers could still teach, but many students were unable to take notes on their laptops or tablets. Also, during class registration when all of a class has to register at the same time, the Wi-Fi tends to work slower.”

Jordan Rook is a nursing student at Immaculata University in suburban Philadelphia. She said her campus’s Wi-Fi experiences slower speeds on a weekly basis. “I have a lot of problems booting into my computers in certain spots on campuses,” she said, adding, “It’s not just me, it’s a problem with other students as well.”

Yoka said that the school did add new technology and that implementation was “handled well, and other schools don’t have the capital to fix network issues. In comparison, York is doing well with the technology side of things and with its servers. A lot of issues from students can stem from outages, laptops not being updated, or minor crashes.”

There is an upgrade in the works at York College, according to Yakovlev.  “Within the next couple of years, we will be rolling out Wi-Fi 6, which is a newer version of our schools’ wireless connection that will hopefully increase our range of wireless connection and enhance the strength on campus within classrooms and doors,” he said.

That can’t come soon enough for students, a few of whom were asked about the system for a Word on Campus.

Among those who responded was Jude Marvel, a member of the York College Class of 2025 majoring in Nursing.If it was up to me, York should definitely make changes to their Wi-Fi network to make it more easily accessible all over campus,” he said, “instead of us students having to pick and choose where we think the Wi-Fi will work best.”

Julian Leon is a senior majoring in Sport Media.

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