Students deserve wireless access


Editorial Board

At issue:Students want wireless Internet all over campus, but the administration resists.

Our view:SDSU should get wireless Internet on campus. Students are willing to pay for it.

Students’ Association President Alex Halbach and Vice President Kat Brandtjen should be proud. Their hard work on a huge student survey gave a solid look at how students feel about campus wireless Internet.

“You can’t argue with it,” said Halbach. And he’s dead on. Most students expect better than they have and are very dissatisfied with the wireless Internet on campus.

But for some reason, there’s resistance from the administration – specifically Mike Adelaine, SDSU’s technology chief.

He has legitimate concerns about security. But other universities have ways of dealing with these problems. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Professors are right to worry that students will use wireless Internet in class to do things other than classwork. It may come as a shock, but ignoring the professor in class is nothing new. Just the tools have changed.

Our parents had pens, notebooks and sleep. We still have those. But now we also have cell phones, game systems and mp3 players.

Technology isn’t going to slow down for education. Education needs to speed up to current technology.

To the administration: Legitimate concerns are one thing. But to drag your feet because of ignorance is to put your own fears before the good of students – your most important customers.

Now, with solid numbers to back them up, students have every right to expect things to change. It doesn’t make sense for SDSU to be stuck in the technological dark ages.

Better wireless Internet will also attract potential students here, and keep them hooked once they arrive.

We’re hiring a tech-savvy president. We’re breaking ground on a new research park. We’re pushing for a spot on the next-generation Internet pipeline. But better, more consistent wireless Internet is available for free at the local coffee shop? That’s just ridiculous.

And if it’s money that’s needed, it sounds like students may get the chance to pay for it through a technology fee increase. A dollar a credit isn’t too much to ask for widespread, high-quality wireless Internet. Let’s push that through and get the service and coverage we deserve.

It’s a win-win for everyone on campus.

It’s just too bad it took a stack of surveys and an offer of cash for the administration to see what every other university already understands – wireless Internet isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. And we need it now.