On Friday, Sept. 16, Whittier College students took to Twitter to express their unhappiness with the Wi-Fi on campus. Twitter users utilized the hashtag, “#WhereTheWifiAt” and tweeted at the Whittier College Twitter account. Students caught the attention of the institution and, through their creative communication, began a conversation with upper administration.
Approximately 20 students discussed long loading times and how much of their personal data plan they use on their cellphones because the Wi-Fi is unsubstantial. Some students said they felt that they paid too much to attend the College to have their Wi-Fi be of such poor quality.
The ASWC Senate took notice of the tweets and the Advocacy Committee will be taking hold of the project for students. “As a student body representative, I am excited and appreciative that students feel they can voice their concerns,” senior Christina Brown said. “The internet has been an issue since I started attending Whittier College and so I’m really looking forward to seeing if Whittier can actually start to fix this issue for years to come, so it’s not a recurring problem.”
Shortly after the tweets began, Vice President for Advancement Steve Delgado approached President of the ASWC senior Amer Rashid to acknowledge the Wi-Fi problem. According to Rashid, Delgado was in agreement with students about the importance of addressing the issue.
President Sharon Herzberger attended the first ten minutes of the ASWC Senate meeting to ask Senators to direct their constituents to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org , with any specific complaints that her assistant would then forward to Information and Technology Services. “We would greatly appreciate you telling us about the problems and where,” Herzberger said. “We’re hearing that there’s all this social media discussion of poor Wi-Fi access on campus, but we can’t pick up where.”
Although Herzberger is glad to hear from students, she was confused as to why they chose Twitter as their platform since, with only 140 characters, students don’t have much space to elaborate on their issues. “It doesn’t help to go [on] social media and complain about it,” Herzberger said. “It doesn’t help us figure out how to work on it. We’re determined to fix this problem; we just need to figure out where.”
Rashid was excited to see the students using social media platforms for conversations with the institution. “Students, use these tools to reach out to the institution because that lets them know that there are serious problems,” Rashid said. “Whether that be through talking and tweeting at us or the College.”
Both Brown and Rashid hope that the Advocacy Committee can be a vehicle for continuing an open dialogue with the College about improving the Wi-Fi. The committee meets at 5 p.m. in the Senate Office every Friday and is open to all students to attend.