The Woods Wifi Switch: Good or Bad?


Photo by: Wikipedia

Geoff Diver

The Woods at Millikin has recently added new routers in each apartment to improve the wifi signal. It seemed like the end of a dark era when the only available wifi was the unreliable MUResnet. But many students still face a weak wifi signal, despite the switch from Millikin’s wifi system to individual wifi for each apartment.  

Me and my roommates were thrilled to get wifi in our apartment until we learned it only worked in our living room. If we decided to do our homework or watch Netflix in our rooms, we would be disconnected from our apartment’s wifi. That isn’t the way it should be. I should not have to compromise my phone activity so that I can use my computer freely.

For me to write this article, I had to use my phone’s hotspot so that my computer can access the internet. I hate using my phone’s hotspot because it drains my battery significantly. I am lucky; my family has unlimited data, so using my hotspot doesn’t have many other downsides. Students who are not as fortunate as me risk exceeding their data limit by using their hotspots.  

There are always other options when the wifi isn’t benefiting yourself, like going to the University Commons or the Woods Study Room (located above the Woods Lobby). But as the weather gets colder, those options may seem less and less enticing, especially when you should be able to do your homework at home. 

It is especially frustrating to come home from work after a long day and then having to walk on campus just to do an assignment that would take you twenty minutes.

I understand that technology isn’t perfect, but we are students at a university. Access to the internet is imperative to our success. Possibly the worst part about this weak wifi is taking online tests or quizzes. 

I know of too many students who took a quiz on Moodle only to have their wifi signal lost and their quiz close. 

This occurrence is always an annoying one. You’ll have to email your professor, explain what happened, hope they reopen the quiz for you, and then you’ll have to take it all over again. I always do my quizzes in the University Commons to avoid such a catastrophe. 

The biggest frustration stemming from this epidemic is the amount of money we pay to live in the Woods. For almost $1,000 per month, we are given some of the spottiest and most unreliable wifi I have ever seen. If the Woods was significantly cheaper, I would understand why their wifi isn’t great. But for the price we pay, the wifi should be premium and cause no problems. 

It seems to me that a lot of the problems people have with the Woods directly play a factor in the pricing. If we weren’t overcharged for every little thing, than maybe students would complain less about the standards of the Woods.

It is important to note that not everyone feels the same way I do about the wifi. Some students love the new wifi. They experience good signals throughout their entire apartment and have had no problems getting a connection. That was the purpose of the switch, and I am glad that it has worked out for those individuals. 

For others, being able to do homework in the comfort of your own home has become obsolete. It is time to adjust to a period when we use our hotspots or travel distances in the cold just to reach a stronger wifi signal in order to pass.