Students have expressed different reactions in response to the technological problems experienced on campus since the beginning of school.
“It makes it more difficult because we are more technology-based now. It’s kind of hard to be able to do your assignments or look up something if the technology that’s provided for us isn’t working to its fullest ability,” said Veronica Ginto, a business administration student.
From Blackboard and Windows 10 being slow, to lost or missing Wi-Fi connections and teachers losing notes, students have been on a technological rollercoaster.
“I tried hooking my email up to my iPhone, my Outlook email, and it wouldn’t let me. The same thing, my personal computer won’t connect to the Wi-Fi. And the Blackboard is trash,” said Ralphie Soler, an exercise science and fitness major.
Jake Potter, a fine arts student, had a similar opinion. “The internet sucks, and the Wi-Fi is pretty terrible, too,” he said.
“My whole impression of this school so far is unorganized and unprofessional,” said digital marketing major Keegan Brunell. “Whether it’s my teachers not really showing up for class and not really giving us much warning, or the whole power issue and all of the Blackboard issues, it’s just been one thing after another with this school. I really don’t even have a very solid opinion of it anymore.”
“It’s been a mixed bag,” said John Brennan, chief information officer, about the reactions of people on campus to the technological problems. “Frustration has been high, and understandably so. Their instruction is starting to be impacted, and they have a right to be angry.”
According to Brennan, Campus Works, Strata Information Group and the Middle States accrediting body had all done studies before he took his position at the college. All of them consistently said that ITS is running on about half the staff they should be.
Brennan said that when he was employed at SUNY Delhi, their ITS department had 26 workers servicing 3,300 students. Hudson Valley has over more than triple the enrollment number at Delhi, but only employs about 24 ITS staff members.
“We are grossly understaffed in our department in technology in general, so everything that we do really needs to be done in a very carefully measured approach and not in huge chunks like we did this time,” said Brennan. “It was all too much, that is what it really boils down to.”
“I think they just really need to get their stuff together,” said human services student Savannah Bronson. “I heard one of my professors say that they got this new Blackboard system two weeks before school started. They should have had more time to learn about it before school started, and I felt like the professors didn’t really know what they were doing either.”
According to students, their teachers have reacted in different ways as well.
“My teachers either reacted very professionally and kind of just went on with things, or basically acted like a kid who lost their index card right before they had to give a speech,” said Brunell.
“My teachers are always like, ‘What the hell?’ They always get really mad. Some of them start cussing or are like, ‘Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous,’ or, ‘I don’t know what to do now.’ And then they get all frustrated,” said Bronson.
According to Ginto, teachers have been confused on how to operate the new technology as well.
“They are complaining that they didn’t have enough time to learn how to use it properly,” she said. “They say that the school should have worked out all the tweaks before school actually started.”
Students have noticed an improvement since the first week of school.
“Nothing can get worse than blacking out, so it’s definitely gotten better,” said Solar.
Patricia Brown, a liberal arts major, agrees. “It seems like it’s getting fixed now. It was a little annoying, but I think it’s better now.”
According to Brennan, ITS is still working out the bugs. However, the major issues have been, for the most part, resolved.
“There are sporadic issues here and there that we are aware of and are working on, but nothing on the level of what we saw during the first couple weeks of classes,” said Brennan.