Editorial: Shaky server disrupts learning environment

By defaultuser
November 7, 2002

What would you do with $1 million? Perhaps college would take a back seat to loose spending and luxurious vacations. Maybe the money would be invested to gain interest and be put to use later in life. Or, if you wanted to be the most popular kid on campus, you could pay Drexel the small fortune so Cabrini could receive the missing half of the $1 million technology contract once and for all.

Under the contract now, students are depending on an undependable network server and the college is not getting what it is paying for. The partnership with Drexel costs Cabrini $1 million per year, but the network crashes so often that it’s hard not to question if the deal is worth the money.

The Internet is an essential educational tool that Cabrini is depriving its students of. The shaky server has disrupted the learning experience for students and the teaching of teachers. When the Internet is down, it is the equivalent of no chalk and no textbooks in the classroom.

Of course, it is only fair to understand that with an upgrade in technology as huge as Cabrini’s recent renovations, bugs will pop up. But when will it be over? The server still goes down regularly and no solution seems to be in sight.

Despite the problems and lack of solution, the college’s mission statement still boasts a wireless campus. The equipment shows that we are a technologically savvy college. The performance of the equipment proves otherwise. What good is it if it does not work? A college cannot be run like this. The current server is not secure or reliable and it has to change.

Cabrini is not suffering from a lack of funds. It is not an at-risk college that cannot afford the necessary tools to provide an education. When the server goes down four weeks in a row, it is like a professor skipping days of work unannounced over four weeks. How long would it take for that professor to be fired? How long will it take for Cabrini to either figure the situation out or drop Drexel as a partner?

Until the bugs are worked out and the performance of the server satisfies the $1 million contract, the students should be informed of the problems. The administration and the department of information and technology resources should identify the problems publicly so students understand the measures being taken to fix the problems. Nothing is worse than having students misunderstand a situation and aimlessly wonder when improvements will be made.

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