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The Blue & Gray Press | October 22, 2017

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Student senate meets about internet concerns with staff

BY MARIAH YOUNG

Two representatives from the University of Mary Washington Information Technology Department spoke with the Student Senate at this week’s Wednesday meeting.

Hall Cheshire, acting chief information officer, spoke alongside the Apogee campus representative. It was an informal information session based on the questions student senators presented.

According to the students, the majority of the student body feels as though there are not appropriate internet speeds, and there is too much difficulty when attempting to connect to the internet. There are also reports of students being kicked off the internet while they were using it.

Student senators created a graph showing student-tested internet speeds from different universities across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Why aren’t we competing at even close levels?” questioned Ben Hermerding, junior political science major.

Hermerding originally brought the senate motion forward, resulting in the IT representatives attending the senate meeting.

The motion stated, “I, Senator Benjamin Fredrick Hermerding, motion that the Administrative Affairs Committee schedule a hearing during regular Student Senate hours in which one or more UMW administrators in charge of internet contracting will testify.”

During the meeting, Gibran Parvez, technology coordinator for the SGA, discussed the varying internet speeds for schools and governments.

According to both representatives, a survey conducted by Apogee,  a majority of the student body did not have many issues with the internet service.

The graph showed UMW as having the slowest upload and download speeds compared to the Commonwealth of Virginia the United States, the University of Virginia, George Mason University and the College of William and Mary.

According to the Apogee representative, other universities’ internet speeds depend on their university’s package for internet.

Cheshire said that the University is currently in the process of working out a new deal with Apogee. The possible plan would increase internet speed over the years, while also allowing students to increase the amount of devices a student may use to connect.

“I thought it was very constructive. I think the administrators heard our concerns,” said Hermerding. “However, we are going to be watching for results and if they don’t happen we are going to be back on the administration’s case.”

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