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Sep 16 2016
by Daphine Henderson

Campus-Wide Wi-Fi Outage Affects Thousands of UMD College Students For Two Days

By Daphine Henderson - Sep 16 2016
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Almost everyone views Wi-Fi as a necessary aspect for life. Social media, video games, email, schoolwork, etc. is usually always backed up by Wi-Fi. However, one college campus had the unfortunate opportunity to experience life without Wi-Fi, and the results were a nightmare-come-true for the social media buggies.

On Sunday, the University of Maryland College Park experienced a campus-wide Wi-Fi outage, leaving thousands of students without the option to check social media, surf the Internet, or submit schoolwork on a campus-specific website known as ELMS. The outage not only affected their laptops, but their phones as well.

The outage lasted for about two days.

Some students were lucky enough to be able to still connect to the wavering Wi-Fi network, ironically named “umd-secure.” Others, like UMD Freshman Jasmine Mitchell, told Fresh U how she had to resort to other methods.

“I had to take it upon myself to use my own data to create a hotspot.” Mitchell says. “It would be one thing if it was just a few hours, but it was much longer than that.”

Mitchell also expressed her disappointment at the slow response to the outage.

“The Wi-Fi had been going in and out for about two days before UMD decided to send out an email acknowledging the issue. Additionally, I had friends who called the IT desk, to where they received no help and/or no estimate of when the Wi-Fi would be up. This was very unsettling.”

Many students had received email or text notifications informing them of the outage. However, many did not receive this notification until long after the outage was known about.

Email of Daphine Henderson

According to the email, the Wi-Fi issues are due to the extremely large number of students using "umd-secure." Eric Denna, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, promises there will be solutions to the overall Wi-Fi traffic and inconsistencies. 

UMD Freshman Sreyas Anil also experienced issues with the Wi-Fi, but told Fresh U that he expressed his reactions in a different fashion.

“I would wake up and try to do some homework before classes started to find that the Wi-Fi would be gone. This made everything hard since basically everything we need for our classes is on ELMS.”

Anil created a short drawing, posting it on the UMD Class of 2020 Facebook Group Page.

by Sreyas Anil on Facebook
“We had to find other productive things to do like eat at the dining hall, walk around outside, light a dumpster on fire, and, in my case, draw a cartoon about it.”

There was even a burning trashcan on campus, and most students came to believe that it was some sort of "riot" against the Wi-Fi issues. No one was injured, and there was no actual sort of rebellion. Only sadness, frustration, and boredom.

Late Tuesday night, the Wi-Fi was reported to return to all of the students on the UMD campus.

All of us here at Fresh U rely on Wi-Fi to produce this lovely content, so we understand the horror of losing it for days, and hope that UMD never has to experience this again.

Lead Image Credit: Carmichel Library via Flickr Creative Commons

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Daphine Henderson - University of Maryland, College Park

Daphine Henderson is a sophomore at the University of Maryland College Park majoring in Music Performance on Bass. She enjoys reading, writing, and anything involved with music and art. Follow her on Twitter @Guinea231 !

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