The installation of wireless Internet in the dorms this summer should have been a godsend for students. No longer tied down by cords, students could work more comfortably and in any location of their choice.
At the beginning of the academic year there were, naturally, flaws in the system. The University promised residents that it would fix them immediately.
But now, midway through the second semester, students are still complaining about weak connections, dropped connections and no connections at all.
Since complaints started coming in, Penn computing staff have installed 45 more access points, and the number of complaints has gone down. If students are still having problems, administrators say that it's up to students to let them know where and when.
Rather than having students contact information technology advisors or staff each time they come across a dead spot, though, Penn computing could coordinate with house deans to get comprehensive feedback through an online survey.
This would provide the University with complete, up to date data and would take care of those students who don't know how to give feedback or who to give it to.
The University has coordinated campus-wide online surveys before, and this would only have to encompass students who live in a college house. Students would respond regarding the connection in their own rooms, and RAs and GAs could fill in information about common areas on their hall, as well as ensure each room is accounted for.
Continuing with a case-by-case solution eventually will solve the problem, but a college house-wide survey of students could help the University take care of the problem immediately.