Tont G’s Spot: Campus Technology Needs to be Updated

Anthony Goreczny, Opinion Editor

For today’s college student access to working technology is very important.  Students are expected to create power points, type papers, and communicate constantly via email.  Student groups are also organized, and school events promoted through the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Without access to these resources it is very hard for many students to keep up with everything going on at college.

Many of the computers in classrooms are in need of software updates to often used add-ons like Flash.  Over the summer I worked for the Upward Bound summer program as a tutor/counselor.  Towards the end of the summer I was helping the music class during study lab to prepare the songs that they would be performing for the Celebration of Achievement recognition ceremony.   I was unfortunately unable to play the song because Flash was not updated and a large majority of mp3 and video players on the internet operate on flash.

These updates can only be performed by people who have administrative accounts and provide the proper permissions, and this problem is very widespread.  In fact the computers at the Wilkes Beacon office also require this update.  Without it YouTube and most videos on the internet are inaccessible and the staff and editors cannot watch news videos or editing and design tutorials.  These computers also lack some important java updates.  Many things on the internet that do not run on Flash often run as a java applet.  The lack of an updated and functional java add-on restricts access to many of the interactive websites on the internet.

One of the most important things a student does in college is write papers.  Many professors require that students hand in print copies of papers.  This can be a difficult task when many of the computers on campus are unable to connect to the printers.  One of the printers that is often inoperable is the color printer in the library.  This is the only color printer readily accessible to students.

I understand that the flood evacuation was unforeseen obstacle, and many precautions were taken by Information Technology to preserve the functionally and files on the Wilkes network.  I also understand that they are quite possibly smothered in work while trying to return to the network to full functionality, but the previously mentioned problems have been ongoing since before the flood evacuation.

There are also smaller problems like a large quantity of broken links on the Wilkes website.  I found that for both the political science and theatre arts majors the link to the required classes was broken and simply reloaded the current page.

All of these problems can make it very difficult to get school work and other activities done within time constraints, and this adds a large amount of additional stress on the students who use the technology available on campus.  I understand that fixing these problems will require time and manpower, but access to functioning technology is absolutely necessary for the modern college student to succeed.