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Wireless woes irritate students

September 19th, 2013

Over the first few weeks of the semester, many John Carroll University students have experienced difficulties with the computer systems on campus. From the wireless Internet not connecting to documents failing to print, the problems have been both widespread and persistent. This was not the experience JCU students were looking forward to at the start of a new academic year.

Difficulties involving the JCU Wi-Fi have been attributed to the increase in devices on campus this semester. Fortunately, this particular issue had been predicted and therefore did not come as a surprise to JCU’s department of Information and Technology Services.

“We did anticipate [the increase of drivers] and we increased the address ability on our wireless so that it could handle a lot more devices,” said Jim Burke, associate chief information officer for IT services at JCU.

Another technological issue plaguing the students has been slow Internet speed on campus.

“It could be their location at the time. It could be their device. It’s a case-by-case basis, unfortunately,” said Burke.

On top of these problems are complaints of malfunctioning printers. Not every student living on campus has their own printer and, as a result, many rely on the University’s printers for their papers and homework assignments. When those devices fail to operate correctly, the students are often left without another option and without their soon-to-be-due assignment.

According to sophomore Anne Hetson, the printers in the LSC computer lab were not functioning properly.

“That was very frustrating, especially the first week of school, when a lot of papers were due and we were making our first impression on the teachers, so you had to have [the assignment]; it couldn’t be late,” said Hetson.

Burke clarified that the real source of the issue was the computers, not the printers themselves.

“The printing issue actually has nothing to do with the printers, and is a manifestation of an upgrade that was done to the smart card system over the summer,” Burke said.

The printing problem has not been completely fixed and, according to Burke, ITS is still working with the vendor to resolve it.

However, Burke also described plans for wireless printing at JCU in the future. This feature would allow students to send documents to the University’s printers from their own laptop.

For individual technological problems, Burke recommends contacting the help desk as soon as possible.

“It’s always easiest to diagnose a problem when it’s actually happening,” he said.

JCU students can contact the ITS help desk at (216) 397-3005 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or at helpdesk@jcu.edu.