Staff Editorial

Upon returning to Lawrence this year, students were overwhelmed by changes and new improvements across campus. The Warch Campus Center looms large over the mighty Fox River, a perfect place to study, equipped with everything from computers, to comfortable lounges, to art supplies. Students are also able to connect to the internet wirelessly from almost anywhere within the building, which is open to students all night long, allowing students flexibility in when and where they study. With the swift embrace of Wi-Fi that took place in the campus center in mind, the staff of The Lawrentian thinks that Lawrence should make wireless Internet accessible across campus.
It has become a truism to say that the Internet is a necessity in an academic setting. Not only does the Internet allow access to information from all over the world, the Lawrence community has access to many journals and databases that could be utilized to their full potential if all students could view them anywhere.
The Internet used to tether individuals to at least a wall, if not a desktop computer. Now, technology has enabled us to access this information anywhere with the proper infrastructure. It is important to keep in mind that books, magazines and recordings are successful media because of their accessibility and portability.
The new campus center is the only additional place this year where students can access wireless Internet. Wireless hotspots are still limited to the library, academic necklace, and dormitory lounges. There is no need for this access to be so limited; because almost every building on campus has Ethernet jacks scattered along the walls, there is no reason why wireless could not be more prevalent. We at The Lawrentian think that it is important for everyone to have access to wireless network resources.
Though not the most pressing issue facing Lawrence as a whole, the current model of allowing students to provide their own wireless routers privileges more affluent students who can afford the extra expense of a wireless router and gives them an advantage as they complete their work in residential buildings.
The task of providing wireless network access more broadly should not be insurmountable, as ITS obviously already knows how to implement a wireless network. The University should finish the job and make the World Wide Web accessible to everyone across campus, with or without a cord.
Wireless access has been a topic of conversation at Lawrence for years, and the University’s dawdling on this issue seems silly, especially in light of the much grander projects the administration has completed over the past few years.