Move in survey lessons learned

Overall, we received an overwhelmingly positive response to both the move in process and Gustavus' wireless network. We learned quite a bit from the thoughtful responses people gave. Here are some of the lessons we have learned from them.

Contents

Move-in process

Many didn't know that we provide/require our anti-virus application

For at least the past few years, we have sent a letter to incoming freshmen stating that we provide Symantec anti-virus, and that one of the steps to get on the network is to install it. Despite that fact, several students expressed frustration with the fact that they had purchased a different anti-virus application and were forced to uninstall it in order to get on Gustavus' network. In the future we will attempt to do a better job of highlighting that fact, and will probably send out an e-mail over the summer to all returning students reminding them that they don't need to purchase an antivirus program, and if they do they will need to uninstall it when they return to campus.

Please note: Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, Gustavus Technology Services will no longer offer Symantec Endpoint Protection for installation on personally-owned computers. Campus network users (Windows) will still be required to have a functional antivirus program installed on their computer. These programs include Norton, Kaspersky, etc. On Windows 8 machines, the standard Windows Defender program is recommended.

Many requested a handout be left in dorm rooms with instructions on connecting to the network

We plan to create a handout with instructions, and we will talk to Res Life about the best way to distribute that handout.

Some requested that we provide more help in the dorms as people (particularly freshmen) move in

We plan to work with Res Live to try to have more computer helpline workers in the dorms as freshmen move in.

Wireless coverage

Some areas of some dorms needed better coverage

Some dorms, particularly "long hallway dorms" and Uhler needed more coverage than we initially gave them. We have already improved coverage in International Center, College View, Lundgren House and Sohre. We intend to improve coverage in Uhler, Pittman, North and Sorensen over the course of the term as time allows.

Students would like to have coverage in places we didn't think of covering

Students expressed an interest in having wireless coverage in some places we previously didn't think were important. There were several requests to cover the arb, Lund, and laundry rooms in dorms. Since the survey, we have improved coverage in Lund.

How Gustavus students view wireless

People asked if we would discontinue wired/people noted that wireless was less reliable

Wired networks will always be faster and more reliable than wireless networks. Gustavus has no plans to discontinue its wired network, and we suggest that you use the wired network whenever possible. Wireless networks are convenient, but they will never replace wires. You will have a better computing experience if you plug in when you can.

Many expressed frustration at having to buy an Ethernet cord

As the above answer notes, a wired Ethernet connection will always be faster and more reliable than wireless. The bookmark sells Ethernet cables for $6.25. Compared to the hundreds of dollars a student spends on his or her computer, this is an insignificant cost, and we hope that students will just bite the bullet and spend the money to improve their computing experience.

Some don't know what devices interfere with wireless networks

Many students wanted to know if the wireless network was degrading their cell phone reception; wireless computer networks do not operate near the same frequency as cell phones and therefore do not interfere with cell phone reception. A few cell phone providers may have worse coverage than last year due to towers damaged during the tornado just before school started this year.

Many students didn't know that 2.4Ghz cordless phones and microwaves interfere with wireless Internet. If your wireless signal is strong one minute and drops off the next, it is probably due to someone using a cordless phone or a microwave.

Many told us that "last year's coverage was bad in this dorm"

Over the summer we rolled out wireless in every dorm on campus. We significantly improved the coverage in the dorms we did pilot programs in last year, and installed wireless in all the other dorms. It was a big project. We certainly hope that coverage is better this year than last year.

The network

We discovered a problem with a network device, which we have fixed

People complained that access was slow during the evening, and we investigated. It turns out that a network device was misconfigured and it hit a limit during the evening. Because we work during business hours, we didn't know about the problem. We have fixed that problem and will monitor it more closely in the future.