By Carson King, COM 250 Reporter

Edited by Adele Gammill, COM 303 Editor

MOUNT BERRY, Ga.- Internet usage and connection have long been topics of concern for Berry College students, faculty, and staff.

Throughout Berry’s history, the college has tried to keep up with the evolution of internet updates and technological development. Modern technology has changed how people work, learn, and communicate at educational institutions.

Penny Evans-Plants has been Berry’s chief information officer since 2011. She works specifically with user support, enterprise systems, networking and telecommunications. Her office, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) focuses on creating strategic plans for departments and setting them up for success. Evans-Plants said they desire to create a core relationship with Berry’s community so people know they can call when problems emerge.

“The main concern that we want to address is to let everyone know there is a specific department to report concerns and internet outages to,” Evens-Plants said. “Whenever there are struggles with the internet, people should ask for help. Training is happening daily to know how to assess the problems with the internet and navigate the best ways to solve them. We cannot stress enough how important it is to report internet or technical problems when they occur.”

Sophomore Ronan Schurig works for OIT as a network technician. He says the most frequent problem with the internet is the interference between the Access Point (AP) and devices. This occurs when things like microwaves, firesticks, wireless printers and network extenders in the environment cause interference. Each of these can send devices a code that is not “greenlit” by the Berry IT department.

“The more codes that your device is receiving is challenging the roaming ability that is interfering with Berry internet,” Schurig said. “The best thing that students can do on their end before contacting IT, is to turn off your Wi-Fi and restart it in the new location. This allows your device to have roaming ability to the new location you are at and connect to the closest access point.”

When internet connection or technology problems occur on campus, the best thing for the student, faculty, or staff to do is to contact IT. The OIT department has worked strategically to set up QR scanner codes around dorms, the library, Krannert, and many academic buildings to connect to the OIT department. Once OIT has been notified of the problem, they either contact inquirers directly, help over the phone, or send someone directly in person to determine the next best steps to take.

Berry students have many assignments and research that needs to be done on computers. Senior Reed Couch is among the many students who have struggled with the internet connection on campus.

“My experience with Berry’s internet availability hasn’t been the best,” Couch said. “Sometimes my WI-FI is great and other times I lose connection during assignments and critical moments. I have attempted to seek help, but then usually don’t because I assume someone else has already sent IT a million emails regarding that same issue.”

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