Hilltop Views

Library frustrations will seem minor in the long run

Staff Editorial

September 25, 2012

Students returning to campus this semester have faced a rude awakening. Many of  the routines students have developed during their time at St. Edward’s University have been disrupted. Students cannot park where they used to...

Bomb scare at UT raises questions of campus safety

Hilltop Views Staff

September 18, 2012

Imagine every St. Edward's University student standing on the sidewalks of South Congress Avenue, waiting for the all-clear from administrators and police to re-enter campus after a bomb threat. Such a scene may be hard to imagine, b...

Recurring network outages cause frustrations

September 10, 2012

On Sept. 5, computer labs around campus were dark and deserted. Students and staff alike struggled to go about their daily routines because they rely on access to Wi-Fi and online resources. The campus was in a state of confusion. As early as Aug. 29, server complications slowed down the St. Edward’s network. What started as a technical hiccup quickly turned into a campus-wide crisis, culminating in server outages on Sept. 5, which began around 8 a.m. and were not fully resolved until 7 p.m., according the St. Edward’s Computer Help Desk’s Twitter. During this time, services like Blackboard, EdWeb, Edshare and Zimbra were unavailable. Additionally, students, faculty and staff experienced difficulty even connecting to the Internet. But the Sept. 5 outages were not the end of the computer problems on campus. Zimbra and Blackboard were down again on Sept. 7 for a short period. The Computer Help Desk maintains a Twitter feed in addition to a newsfeed on their “Think” page on the St. Edward’s website. These feeds are intended to give students updates on the status of the campus computer network, especially during computer crises. Unfortunately, for those relying on the campus internet, these updates were unreachable. The recent service outages have illuminated just how much students and faculty at St. Edward’s rely on services like Zimbra, Blackboard and Edweb. Students and faculty also rely heavily on the campus Wi-Fi. When these computer services are unavailable, tasks that were once effortless become frustrating. It is fair to say that we have become extremely dependent on our campus network. It is a facet of our education that we have come to expect. When our expectations are not met, education can no longer run smoothly. When Zimbra is unavailable, it becomes difficult for students to contact professors or each other. Important correspondence may not happen on time because e-mail is unavailable. Talking in person may seem like an obvious solution, but finding a professor at a moment’s notice does not seem feasible when students are used to the immediacy of the Internet. Many students do not keep hard copies of syllabi for their classes, so they might forget the location or time of a professor’s office hours without Blackboard or the directory on the university’s website. Moreover, St. Edward’s has recently pushed faculty to use less paper, relying more on online resources than on paper copies. But if students and faculty cannot access online resources, a lack of paper copies makes things much more difficult. It would be practically impossible to run a class without paper or online resources. In order to prevent future Internet woes, St. Edward’s Digital Infrastructure team continues to work towards network stability. However, the frequent outages of resources like Blackboard and Zimbra continue to exacerbate current technological problems. The Computer Help Desk’s Twitter feed demonstrates the constant state of flux within the computer network. One tweet says online resources are available then the next says resources are unavailable. With students and faculty relying on Wi-Fi and online resources, St. Edward’s IT department should have anticipated problems at the beginning of the semester, and there should be a better chain of communication to let students and staff know about the state of the Internet. The Sept. 5 service outages lasted the entire school day, throwing a wrench in most students’ and professors’ schedules. If the outages had been fixed earlier, the interruption of daily activity would have been less intense. The St. Edward’s community simply cannot function without a reliable system of online resources and network access.

Concealing election results blights SGA

Hilltop Views Staff

September 29, 2009

The vote tallies for both the winning and losing contenders of the St. Edward's University Student Government Association fall election were released to the general public Sept. 18 with one notable exception: The vote count f...

Texting while driving needs nationwide ban

Hilltop Views Staff

September 22, 2009

What cell phones can do today is remarkable. What we essentially carry in our pockets are hand-held computers with high-speed Internet access.And while they can multi-task, you can't—at least not behind the wheel.Why then do so many people ...

Freshman class epitomizes value of St. Edward’s University

Hilltop Views Staff

September 15, 2009

Take a bow, St. Edward's University—you deserve it. The hilltop welcomed 757 incoming freshmen for the class of 2013, making it the largest in St. Edward's 125-year history and 16 students more than last year's total of 741. Des...

Hilltop Views moving from page to screen

Hilltop Views Staff

September 8, 2009

Yes, the future of journalism is uncertain. A field once dominated by print is now moving away from this most tangible medium. The clear leader in the realm of news dissemination is the Internet, which is rapidly replacing both ne...

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