UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Internet access is an academic necessity, and UMass Boston should treat it as such

As reported in a Mass Media article of April 4, 2014, the Undergraduate student body has passed legislation to upgrade the Wi-Fi systems on the UMass Boston campus.

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has appropriated $10,000 dollars to the University’s Information Technology Department to purchase “40 new wireless internet access routers.”  

The quality of the Wi-Fi at the university has been a common complaint. The impending increase in accessibility, some would say, was long over due. The constant influx of students attending the school has predictably put a strain on the community’s Wi-Fi.

With the Wi-Fi accessibility becoming increasingly unavailable, student progress and precision has begun to dwindle. When students are unable to optimally access the vital information and tools needed to succeed in an academic environment, productivity will undoubtedly diminish.

The internet has become such an essential tool in obtaining the proper education. With it so ingrained in our class and academic environment, it is now virtually impossible to succeed without it.

Which is why as a student based research university, the Wi-Fi system must meet a higher standard. If more and more students start attending, which is inevitable, with the same number of routers, then it would be impossible to access the internet.

The passing of the legislation is a critical step in improving UMass Boston. The fact that the USG had to use student funds for the project was unfortunate. Such an upgrade should have been part of the university’s primary budget, right along with maintenance. Such a project should fall into the same category of projects like the repainting of campus walls.

However, the university seems to have quite a different take on the issue. They’re not alone. Many have conversed about whether or not universities should be able to profit from the growing need of accessible Wi-Fi.

Should schools all over the country start charging students on top of the increasing cost of tuition for faster Wi-Fi?

Of course not.

Students should not have to pay extra for internet usage since colleges have made using the internet a critical part of our learning experience. It should be paid for by the school the same way chalkboards and desks are. If the university is going to admit a larger student body, then shouldn’t it accommodate that larger student body with the necessities of a modern education?

The internet has evolved from being primarily a recreational luxury to an educational necessity. And if it is not kept to a standard then student productivity would drastically drop.  

As we’ve all undoubtedly noticed, the university has embarked on the construction of new buildings so as to properly cope with the increasing amount of students. The same actions should be applied to Wi-Fi access within the university.