I understand: you are having technical difficulties.
Please understand: so am I.
The wireless on campus is currently best described as non-functional. Without being an overly tech-savvy person, I’d wager that the oncampus wireless network is congested now that you’ve removed all the desktop computers from the campus, except for the a handful that are dedicated to the animation, graphic art, and game development programs, in your move to go green and mobile.
First of all, you’re not fooling anyone. While you refuse to provide hardcopy timetables and syllabi, third parties have not stopped demanding them. The only thing that has changed is now the student assumes the printing cost. No trees are saved. Only your money is saved. Similarly, while you tout the convenience of etextbooks and mobile learning as the way of the future, any student who stops to think about it knows, really, what you’re doing is figuring out a socially acceptable way to cram 45 students into a classroom that was only built to accommodate 30 desktops. By doing this, you’ve increased the income of tuition by 50%. Now, it’s fine that you’re trying to increase your profits. You’re a business and that’s what businesses do. But sack up and be honest about it.
Second of all, nowhere in my program is it a requirement that I have a home Internet connection. I pay IT fees so that I can have access to the Internet on campus. Currently, I think it would be fair to say that I am not getting my money’s worth, but that’s not even close to the point. The point is this: all professors, all IT staff, and all administrators should assume that if the wireless network is down on campus, no student has any access to wireless, anywhere. Most of us do, but some of us don’t, and those who don’t are not in any way failing to meet their responsibilities as a student.
This means you should be prepared to make alternate submission arrangements. You should be prepared to provide instructions in handout form. You should be prepared to provide students with hardline Ethernet connections if your inclass work requires the Internet. You should not assume that a student is able to use the Internet outside of class because they may rely on the campus wireless to complete their research, and so you should be prepared to extend or modify homework assignments.
Sounds pretty complicated and ridiculous right? It is. But you brought this on yourself. You brought this upon us yourself. You did it for the money, and you’ll probably have to spend a lot of money to undo it.
I don’t know how you’re going to fix this. You might have to bring back the desktops. You might have to deforest a small country to provide the paper that we need to go without the Internet for a however long we’ll be without it. You might have to pay a lot of money for a wireless network that can support 20,000 students and staff, including their laptops and smartphones. I do know you need to fix this, and fix it fast. Until then, you need to understand that this problem is affecting the students’ ability to be fairly educated and assessed, so get to work.