Alex Romano

Doesn’t it piss you off every time you have to log in to access wireless internet here at Mason? What’s even worse is when you have to re-login after you already logged in an hour or two ago.
Just the other day a friend and I were working on on-line Spanish homework. He finished 35 questions on part of the assignment, and when he hit submit, it directed to the log-in page and all of his work was deleted.
He logged into the system less than two hours before this happened. What sucks is that this isn’t unheard of and it’s extremely frustrating. It’s ridiculous that you have to keep logging in just to maintain access to the Internet. It actually just did it to me now when I went to refresh my Facebook page.
I understand the whole idea for logging in is to provide safety and security to those on the network, but the network doesn’t even support the latest version of Windows, Windows 7; at least that’s what it says half the time I login.
The IT department at Mason doesn’t seem to communicate well to the students, either, just like many other offices here on campus. When there was a cable television outage that affected over 1,000 on-campus students for almost three days, there was no communication for over 48 hours on what the problem was.
I had to play phone tag to try and find out who in IT was actually responsible for on-campus cable networking. I did that for two hours. When I contacted one of the top people in the IT department they responded and followed up on the matter.
He even responded to me on a Saturday, which was great. So it was fantastic that I could get one of the top people in the department to respond to me about what was actually going on, but no one had an answer for me on a weekday. I shouldn’t have to go to the top every time there’s a problem to find someone competent.
To give the IT department some credit, they are diligent on following up with some matters. We had wireless connection issues in my dorm room. Half the time it wouldn’t work. They sent a ResTech over who told us the same thing that I’ve been telling ITU: the Internet connectivity was spotty and it sucked.
I shouldn’t have to plug in through an Ethernet cable like its 1999 when I’m paying over $8,000 to live on campus per academic year. They sent a couple of guys out who determined there were not enough routers/repeaters installed and that we were in fact not crazy, the Internet connection did suck. ITU proceeded to hire a contract to fix the issue and they were able to install more repeaters, etc. within a month. It was fantastic. Now the wireless works and I can use my iPad in my own dorm room.
Besides that, the IT department really needs to get its stuff together. Up until the beginning of this academic year, we were using an email program that was circa 1995 when every other comparable university was under a real email service with a bit more than 50MB of storage.
I think my first Hotmail account in 2002 had more email storage. I believe they were in discussions for at least two years deciding what email client they were going to switch over to. So come on IT, why can’t this stuff just be easy?
Alex Romano is currently the Program Director of WGMU Radio and co-host of “Mixing it Up and Back,” Sunday nights 9-10 p.m., where you can hear a preview of the Weekly Rant live on-air. Alex is also a former member of SG’s Senate.