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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Student Government Association releases student WiFi survey results

The results of the SGA student WiFi survey via SGA’s Instagram

The Student Government Association (SGA) released their WiFi survey results at their legislative body this Monday, Oct. 23. 


The survey, which went out Oct. 12 through the 17, had 235 student responses and was reviewed by the SGA senators and executive cabinet. Results included concerns from nearly all floors of buildings, except the Student Center and Conestoga Hall. The areas with the most complaints were Boulevard Apartments and Lawrence Hall. 


96.2% of students in the survey said that they have experienced issues with the university’s new WiFi PioneerNet, which was launched completely across campus at the beginning of this semester. 


Since the transfer to PioneerNet, Grace Watson has seen a decrease in the quality of the WiFi this year. She is a senior animation major.


“If you have everything online and people are using their hotspots constantly in class, like I’ve been doing, to get their work done, that’s an issue,” Watson said. 


Right now the WiFi does not work for Watson, whose major is entirely technology and computer based. She spends most of her time on campus in West Penn, the University Center, Boulevard Apartments and Village Park.  


“Everybody uses their laptops for homework; if you don’t have access to [the WiFi] how are we supposed to do those things?” Watson said. “I’m lucky enough to have a hotspot, but for people who don’t, what are they supposed to do?”


Watson said she knows four students who can’t access the WiFi; they have resorted to using public internet services. 


“People are using WiFi networks that are unsafe to get homework done and are potentially putting their own information at risk,” Watson said. “They just have to fix it.”


Anthony DiGiannurio, a senior special education major, has had a different experience. He thinks that the WiFi can sometimes be spotty, but said that it still works for him in most areas.


“When I get over here in Village Park, it’s like one second I’m on and one second I’m not,” DiGiannurio said. 


Although there are connection issues, DiGiannurio said that he thinks PioneerNet is faster this year than in the past. He has seen improvements in the connection in the University Center, a location that used to be spotty last year as well. 


He has also seen students who need to use hotspots if they want some sort of internet connection. 


“Some of them couldn’t log into their laptops,” DiGiannurio said. “They had to use their hotspots on their phones – that was quite a few people.”


Tim Wilson, assistant vice president of information technology services, said that on any given day there are over 1,000 successful WiFi connections on campus and that IT is addressing any issues.


“We have had some reported issues sent into our helpdesk and are addressing them with equipment adjustments; some of the issues have also been specific equipment issues with devices students bring to campus,” Wilson said. “We placed access points in each resident room and should have good coverage on campus.”


Wilson said that he is committed to working with SGA on any issues students are facing and hopes to gather more specific data with the help of SGA.


“President Palombo as well as myself are committed to resolving these issues to the best of our abilities; I realize the importance of this to our students, faculty and staff,” Wilson said. “There are some challenges to an urban campus that we will not be able to beat. This all being said, I feel confident we will be able to identify areas where we can better signal strength if we have good, specific information.”


SGA president and senior acting major Marc Palombo said that the university has been experiencing issues with WiFi for over a decade and that tackling the issues is one of SGA’s primary objectives this year.


“Access to reliable Wi-Fi should be a fundamental resource for all students, and it’s perplexing that this issue has persisted for so long,” Palombo said. “This year, I refuse to accept anything other than a solution to this problem, and I will put forth all my energy and dedication to make it happen.”

Students can still share concerns about campus WiFi by emailing SGA at [email protected].

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