The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, passed a resolution to support the implementation of wireless network access in non-traditional areas of all residence halls before the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year.
ASMSU supported a resolution for the "implementation of Wi-Fi in MSU residence halls" on Dec. 7, 2017. The resolution argues individual wireless access systems are expensive on top of other educational expenses, and that students should be able to study on campus with the expectation their location will have access to a wireless network.
Currently, there are 15 residence halls of the 27 on MSU's campus that require students to purchase their own wireless router because they can’t connect to MSUNet 2.0 or 3.0, MSU's main wireless networks.
"The student experience has evolved over time, where necessities have included books, computers, and, increasingly, wireless internet access," according to the bill.
Jack Person, a representative for the Eli Broad College of Business, said it is unfair to require students who live in a dorm room without a wireless network to purchase their own router.
“It’s an added cost, on top of the immense cost we’re already paying to be students that doesn’t need to be there considering that the university has made a move to bring this effort to us, of having Wi-Fi in all of the residence halls,” Person said during discussion about the resolution.
Rob McCurdy, MSU's chief information officer, said in an email that in response to ASMSU's resolution, Wi-Fi will be installed in Shaw and Emmons halls during spring break. For the remaining residence halls, Wi-Fi will be installed during the summer.
"We are excited to improve the student experience and appreciate the partnership with the students, specifically ASMSU," McCurdy said in an email. "Education does not stop at the classroom doorway; it should be accessible everywhere. This is an important investment in student success."
Person said students, especially those who are still adjusting to a college workload, should be able to do homework and study in the comfort of their own dorm room without having to pay extra for a wireless router.
Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah, ASMSU's vice president of academic affairs, said she checked the Residence Education and Housing Services LiveOn website during the discussion about the bill to find out how many residence halls have full Wi-Fi access.
“Only 12 of the residence halls currently have Wi-Fi through the entire building,” Appiagyei-Dankah said. “Students coming to this university already have a whole lot of financial costs, or finances, that they have to worry about.”
ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca said he believes MSU has been behind in regards to having full access to wireless internet in uncommon areas of residence halls for a long time.
“I think that one of the biggest things that we’re realizing about our college experience is that there are certain things that you need to come prepared with to college, and there are certain things that you expect that your university will provide when you come to college,” Santavicca said. “In the age that we’re living with, one of those biggest requirements that I think a student is going to expect their university to have is wireless internet throughout their campus.”
Santavicca said ASMSU is happy to be moving forward with the resolution.
“We’re stepping up to the plate to say that it’s an expectation that a university should have wireless internet to fulfill the needs of your academic experience, and anything in between, as you’re on campus here," he said.
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