The West Woods Complex Needs Wi-Fi

When the underpass connecting East and West Campus was finally completed, it marked the connection of the East and West Campuses and the renovations at Shepherd University. West Campus is currently home to the Wellness Center, the Butcher Center, Miller Hall, the on-campus apartments, and the West Woods suites. Although the expansion of the campus has been growing in a positive direction, one aspect of West Campus is still lacking. Currently, all residents in the West Woods suites are unable to connect to Shepherd University’s wireless internet and are forced to use Ethernet cords in order to gain access to the internet.

As residents of the West Woods suites, we have our own bathrooms shared among four people, a living room, and spacious bedrooms for two. For all the efficiency of living in a suite, it is greatly undermined by the inability to access the wireless Internet. Within the suites, there are approximately five Ethernet cord outlets: one in the living room and two in each bedroom. In the bedroom, the Ethernet ports are located on one side of the room and not on the other, limiting mobility for either one or both of the occupants.

If wireless Internet was not intended from the beginning, then more Ethernet ports should have been installed throughout each suite. The port in the living room only allows one occupant to utilize it; and when considering what a living room is for (a main area for more than one person), it seems rather silly to only allow one occupant to access the Internet at a time.

What seems bizarre is the fact that every other building on West Campus has access to the wireless Internet. The Butcher Center and Wellness Center both have classrooms in them, and these buildings are no more than twenty yards away from my suite! Not only that, but the traditional dorms (built before West Woods) are wireless compatible! It would be one thing to choose between using the wireless or using an Ethernet cord, but not having the choice feels rather unfair.

If you considered the idea of implementing your own wireless setup within your suite, forget about it. The suites do not allow individual routers. This also puts students with wireless printers in the predicament of buying the sold-separately outlet cord in order to access their own printers.

Emily Daniels, a first year English major, currently resides in one of the West Woods suites. When asked whether she feels it is unfair that she does not have wireless access, she immediately laughed. With a grin, she “Not having wireless in the suite surprises me. To me, a suite should come with option to at least use the wireless. I mean, even McDonald’s has wireless Internet. Give me a break.”

At this point, our generation is used to the instant access to any information needed. As a college student, I feel that Internet is one of my most important resources, tools, and relaxation mechanisms. If I am paying more to live in a suite (and to me, a suite means “sweet”), I should have all of the options that every other student is offered on campus and then some.

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