Various faculty and student opinions
The University of Dallas has new and improved Wi-Fi. This new age of digital connectivity for the school comes in response to long-standing student concerns.
Dr. Malik Dulaney, director of IT infrastructure and security, said: “Students let us know their concerns and frustrations. Two of the major concerns were having to log into the Wi-Fi network every day or multiple times a day. The second concern was the ability to get devices on the network that did not have web log-on capabilities.”
The installation of the new Wi-Fi began last semester and according to Dulaney, the process was quite smooth.
The new network — UDWIFI and UDWIFI-Guest — was officially launched on Jan. 17 and reactions are mixed, though mostly positive.
Dr. Matthew Berry, affiliate assistant professor of politics, was conflicted, weighing the newfound ease of doom scrolling the news with the new ability to send Dr. Kevin Kambo, assistant professor of philosophy, memes about aging millennials without using data. “[That] is neat, or rather it would, if I owned a cell phone,” Berry said. “Anyway, good Wi-Fi coverage will make sure Shmoop loads fast enough that you can skim it right before the reading quiz without missing anything, so that should improve academic outcomes.”
Other faculty members agreed that the new coverage is an improvement. Professor Jesse Cone, Wojtyla teaching fellow of Constantin pooled labor, said: “Prior to this I avoided logging onto the UDAir network wherever possible. I relied on my phone (including using it as a hotspot for my laptop), but cell service can be spotty in certain areas of campus. It’s been nice to have a ready connection available in the depths of Braniff or Gorman.”
Some students echoed this optimism. Patrick Weisbruch, a freshman business major, said: “I love it. Being able to get Wi-Fi without having to log on is great.”
Evan Hammans, a sophomore philosophy major, concurred, saying: “The new Wi-Fi is definitely an improvement. Being able to just open my laptop and be on the wi-fi is really helpful.”
Others noticed different changes. Undeclared sophomore Alan Davila said: “In my experience, it seems to me like the change kind of rearranged the patchy spots on campus a little. There are new areas where the signal is better than it’s ever been, and then places where the signal was fine before but now doesn’t really exist.”
Miguel Rodriguez, sophomore business major, said, “It might be faster, but it’s very difficult to connect to.”
As to why such a network has not been established before now, Dulaney said, “The main reason is when this system was put in-place, these features weren’t available in a manageable form. So, this is a product that’s come out recently that we wanted to look at doing, and now we have been in a position to go ahead and implement it.”
Once IT had everything they needed, the installation process went well. Now that the campus has new and improved Wi-Fi, members of the UD community such as Cone hope that this new improvement will further the academic experience of UD.
Cone said: “Technological advances are onerous to education when they distract from the real work of learning, but so far it seems that this infrastructure upgrade has helped make it less obtrusive and thus recede into the background. My hope is that this will help, not hinder, an educational community that does its work face to face.”
As always, IT looks to serve the UD community in whatever way they can. Dulaney said, “I hope it’s a lot more convenient for our users and they have a good user experience.”