Students speak on WiFi stability during online classes

Justin Zabel, Staff Reporter

Being in a pandemic and going to school online can be hard. Many students struggle to connect to their Wi-Fi server. There are students that will sit in a Zoom call or Blackboard meeting, and it’ll tell them “reconnecting” or it will just kick them out of the class altogether. This is the life of a student, in the middle of the pandemic, trying to continue their education. 

ASCWU President Mickael Candelaria said that his Wi-Fi in Ellensburg runs really smoothly. He said once in a while there are a few spotty places, but other than that, he has not had any trouble with it. He said when he was in his classes and meetings that he’s never been kicked out of the class or disconnected. 

However, he said there are some issues once in a while when he is in a meeting and “it lags a bit, … then you’ll hear my voice crack or I’ll freeze on screen or some weird audio stuff will happen. Otherwise, it doesn’t happen as frequently as one would think, but every now and then it does that if there are a lot of tabs open on my screen.”

Camron Fortier, a junior, said that he has had issues with his Wi-Fi connection for minutes at a time. However, he said it has not had issues in a long time. He said there are usually issues with his Wi-Fi when there are large class sizes.  

“Any of my classes where it is under 15 people in a call, we don’t usually have that issue,” said Fortier.

Fortier said if there is an issue with Wi-Fi on campus, the process of fixing it takes longer than expected. The school Wi-Fi shuts down or students get logged out at times in the middle of assignments or exams. He has lost points on his exams and discussions because of this, making him have to contact his professors about what had happened. 

“I did have one night where my Wi-Fi dropped during a test, like a midterm, and I had to get an extension for that because there was nothing I could do. It was a very stressful night,” Fortier said.

But one thing Fortier said he felt good about was how willing the professors have been to give out longer times to get work done and give week’s work in advance so there is less stress on students. 

“I started taking it for granted when teachers just teach the course week by week, Fortier said “I’m like, ‘what are you doing?’ Like, plan this out. Let me know what I will be doing three weeks in advance.”

Jesenia Rodriguez-Martinez, a junior, said her Wi-Fi works part of the time and other times it does not. Usually, she said, it’s spotty and slow when all her roommates are home and connected to it. She has experienced missing a class and not turning in a homework assignment due to her Wi-Fi being down. 

“When I used to have Zoom meetings all the time, it would always tell me that it needs to catch up to what they are saying or it would say low connection and everything would be frozen, or the teacher would still be talking and everyone’s frozen and I would wait a while for it to reconnect,” Rodriguez-Martinez said.

She said her professors were very understanding, and told her in those situations to turn her homework in as soon as she could without late penalties. She said she felt gratitude about receiving full points on those assignments even though they were turned in late. 

 Rodriguez-Martinez said she was surprised how well classes had transitioned to online. She said she had concern for online schooling but was glad she did not have to stop furthering her education.  

“I do appreciate that during this pandemic we can actually have school online and figure out what we’re gonna do in person. Yeah, the struggle will be there with the Wi-Fi, but at least still getting an education out of it,” Rodriguez-Martinez said.