SAINT PETER, MN — Since the start of the pandemic and the transition to online course delivery, complaints about campus WiFi speeds have increased exponentially, says Tami Aune, director of Gustavus Technology Services (GTS for short). “Despite several upgrades to our servers over breaks and summers, we just can’t keep up with demand,” said Aune. GTS says they’ve received more than a thousand WiFi support requests since school began in September. Sophomore Lucas Coulson said he’s never been able to connect to the WiFi from his room in Sorenson Hall, and has to walk to Gibbs to do his homework. “It’s weird over there,” Coulson complained. “It’s dark and it smells bad. It’s really hard to focus on my studies.”
But starting next week, Gustavus will trial a new, unlikely solution to Internet connectivity problems on campus. “We have about 95% of our campus community vaccinated,” said Billy Visto, lead software engineer for GTS. “We figured it’s about time to put those microchips to good use.” In consultation with Bill Gates and his team, the vaccine-installed microchips of randomly selected students, staff and faculty will serve as WiFi signal extenders. After beta testing concludes, GTS hopes to extend the project to all vaccinated Gusties. “I see a future where we could all be walking around campus with our own personal WiFi,” Visto speculated.
Health Services staff report that there shouldn’t be any adverse effects of the microchip activation, but some students aren’t convinced. “My roommate’s cousin’s friend’s dog’s chiropractor said that the vaccine microchips are designed to kill all of us and destroy society,” said junior Jamie Hollis. “Now I’m glad I didn’t get mine. I don’t want to be turned into a walking router.”
Other students, like senior Aaron Stephenson, are excited for the opportunity to be technology pioneers. “The streaming quality in my room is horrible,” he commented. “It totally ruins my, uh, videos. I’ll do anything to get better WiFi.”
Professors are also looking forward to a better classroom learning experience unhampered by WiFi outages. Chemistry professor Dwight Stoll says although his lab equipment has a wired connection to campus Internet, he’s sick of students using subpar WiFi as an excuse for late homework assignments or missed quizzes. “And if anything, maybe the idea of better Internet speeds could be motivation for the remaining holdouts to get vaccinated,” Stoll added.
The Gustavus community could see WiFi improvements as early as Wednesday of next week.
Categories: CAMPUS NEWS