Page 21 - Campus Technology, July 2017
P. 21

dian schaffhauser
When Students Whine About WiFi on Twitter
The University of Georgia and Arizona State have turned to Twitter feeds to monitor just how satisfied students are with campus wireless. Here’s what they’ve learned.
MEAN TWEETS AREN’T a just a feature on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — they permeate the feeds of college students across America. And the primary target of their wrath seems to be campus WiFi:
“Here’s the deal ... you can either give me functional WiFi or you can give me back a portion of my tuition. Which one is it gonna be?”
“What if this is all some kind of social experiment to see what happens when you take WiFi away from college students?”
“How to academically ruin a college student: Shut off their WiFi on a Sunday.”
Two institutions are using those kinds of disparaging tweets from their community of students as inspiration for improving delivery of wireless networking. At the University of Georgia, mean tweets sparked an initiative that has resulted in a major upgrade of residential WiFi. And Arizona State University is
using its students’ social WiFi complaints to reach out daily and publicize its 24/7/365 help center.
Here’s what both schools have learned about how to cope with WiFi whining.
Twitter Isn’t the Best Medium for
Two-Way Communication
If your primary intent is to pinpoint the precise WiFi problems via the same mechanism students used to grumble about it, you may get frustrated. “When we would try to respond to students or answer their questions, sometimes we would have students give really detailed information as we continued the conversation. Other times they would complain about something and then not ever respond back,” said Kerri Testement, U Georgia’s senior public relations coordinator for Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS). Part of that is a result of when the tweets come in. “They don’t want

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