Wireless Internet making an impact on campus

In previous years, wireless technology was a minute part of Grambling’s college experience, but with an advancing infrastructure, the wireless technology is expanding. Cell phones, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDA), and portable multimedia players are very popular among college students and many require wireless connections.

Whether used for researching an assignment for class or checking the newest friend request on Facebook, “GSU students are taking advantage of the wireless connections,” said Winifred Jones, Associate Vice President for Information Technology.

The shift to wireless technology began in 2006; however, the finalized plan is still incomplete. Jones stated the deadline for the entire campus to be wireless is August of 2009.

It was clarified that as of September 5, 2008, Phase I (600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100A, 100B, Club House, Food Court), Phase II (900, 800A, 800B, 700, Attucks), Drew and Steeple’s Glen were completely wireless accessible.

As for the reaction from students, junior social work major Alvin Thomas said, “The wireless connections in 300 are good.”

But for Jordan Thomas, the freshman residing in 600 of Tiger Village said, “It just started working a day or two ago.”

With 300 and 600 part of Tiger Village, other students living in older dorms such as Jeanes may not have the same access.

Jones mentioned he was aware of the dorms that use dial-up, and placing wireless in these dorms is left up to President Horace A. Judson.

“The improved wireless technology is one of the best things Grambling has put together,” said Chris Harmon, SGA president.

“With the lab hours limited, there isn’t access to a computer at all times. … (T)he wireless connections in Richmond are not sufficient.”

Despite the complaint, students seem to enjoy the wireless Internet.

“There is definitely a large increase in the usage,” said Jones who stated usage on campus is monitored.

Additionally, the Information Technology Center installed more than 220 Internet Protocol surveillance cameras on campus and plans to mount another 100 within the next year.

The Information Technology Center was also featured in the September/October issue of ED TECH magazine for the vast enhancements seen throughout campus.

“Thanks to the approval of the student technology funds that fund our improvements,” Jones said. “As we continue to progress, our students can truly benefit.