Campus struggles to maintain student facilities

If there is one thing that Baker University is most proud of, it would be its historical heritage. However, students are quick to amend that while the buildings should be historic, the amenities should not be. To help keep students up to date on the best ways to utilize student facility resources, university officials have explained how to fix issues before they become even larger.

Baker University Junior Morgan Toothaker currently lives in the Horn and Markham apartments. She and her roommates have consistently had issues with wireless Internet connection and it has affected their productivity.

“You can’t do any homework or anything and you have to walk all the way to the library in the middle of the night to do your homework—which is annoying,” Toothaker said.

Toothaker is not alone in this, as many residence hall occupants have made complaints about connection issues. Some problems are related to the speed of the networks while others simply cannot get their devices to connect.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Shelley Temple-Kneuvean is aware that these complaints exist, but urges students to take action in order for them to be fixed. For Internet issues, this is done by submitting a Help Desk Ticket.

Help Desk Tickets are submissions that allow students to submit the problem so that IT officials can come in and fix it. A new addition that was implemented in September is that Help Desk Tickets now have questions regarding the type of issue being had so that the information can be received immediately and help can come sooner.

The catch to this, however, is that students have to submit the ticket. Temple-Kneuvean explained that the University has no way to know what issues are out there if they are not informed.

“We would really like for students to give us as much information as they can. We are trying to make that process more intuitive by prompting questions in the Help Desk Ticket. But that just helps us resolve it quicker,” Temple-Kneuvean said.

While Help Desk Tickets can solve issues, there are other ways that students can be proactive. Wireless Internet can be tricky and there are a number of factors that play into why something is not working.

Director of Information Technology Stevie Walborn explained that it is important to remember that the ethernet cables are there for a reason. Students have access to free ethernet cables and adapters through Student Affairs and the use of the direct line tends to give a stronger connection.

The residence hall computer labs are on a different network from the regular wireless Internet, so if there are issues with the wireless Internet, then students can go to the computer labs to get their work done.

There are also things to avoid in order to keep Internet connection strong. Bringing in outside Internet ports is prohibited. This interferes with the existing Internet and causes more problems.

Wireless printing is also not allowed. If students are unsure how to disable their printer’s wireless printing abilities, they can submit a Help Desk Ticket and they can be walked through the process.

Overall, officials stress the importance of communication. If there is an issue, there are ways for that issue to be resolved—if it is directed to the right channels. The same goes for maintenance requests.

Director of Residence Life and Conference Services Nicholas Goodman explained that Baker University receives an average of two maintenance requests a day. However, there are still problems that are ignored that could have been easy fixes.

“What we don’t want is students trying to fix issues themselves or sitting on them for nine months. We need to know. We want to make sure that the experience for students the best one we can provide,” Goodman said.

All of the student facilities and amenities offered by Baker University are continuously growing. There are conversations about increasing Internet capabilities as Baker University’s enrollment numbers increase and residence life will always be making improvements to living areas. In order to capitalize on all that is being offered, it is important to use campus resources to solve problems quickly.