Assistant Editor's Two Cents
Technical Problems Need Solutions
By Auburn Mann
As college students we are all too familiar with the stressful feelings that come from the frequently assigned essays, and papers. Even worse is the frustration that comes from successfully completing an assignment and either not being able to print, send it, or submit it. These situations are not foreign to Bowie State University students, specifically those who consistently rely on the computer labs and other technological resources in the Thurgood Marshall Library. In fact, this is an occurrence that happens in the labs where many of the computers have difficulty printing, as well as the system periodically crashing so no one even campus wide is able to use the Internet or sometimes the computers altogether.
I personally know the extreme anxiety this can spark, since I'm a regular user of these computer labs and have also fallen victim many times to the fickle nature of this system, and on occasion during inopportune times. According to OIT, the print issues are rooted in a variety of factors, including the simple tendency for the computer to automatically default to a certain printer setting when the student logs on, as well as, the individual students profile being corrupt originating from the two Internet worms the conficker and Flush M in the 2008-2009 school year. This simultaneously ties into the difficulties in the library's Internet access, where due to the worms can disable student domain names, also setting up illegitimate hosts servers causing false network formation and thereby, causing a deficiency of Internet connection throughout the entire system. Such as the Tuesday morning before the final week of the 2009 fall semester, where the entire internet shut down throughout the library computers, causing nearly campus wide dysfunction and resentment towards Bowie.
In addition to this, the university's course management software, Blackboard, is in the process of being replaced by another program called Angel Next school year. The official switch will actually be made as early as July 1, 2010. Blackboard which is a crucial piece to the educational process not only here at Bowie but at many other colleges and universities since it encompasses a variety of features regarding students courses and each one's assignments, required materials, course information, a compartment to submit assignments, and grades, is prone to be inaccessible as a result of undergoing frequent maintenance. The fact that a program with this much responsibility is consistently out of commission is another testament to this area of Bowie State where there is still an abundance of room for improvement.
These circumstances especially serve as problems when your assignment is due by a certain time in the very near future. Even though I'm not advocating on behalf of those last-minute workers, however, when students do find themselves in crunch time cramming to finish an assignment that somehow has been dragged out to the last possible seconds and there is a need to have a properly working equipment, which could be the difference between success and failure. These inadequate conditions are unacceptable to the students who are paying good money to attend Bowie State University should have access to functioning printers, more reliable Internet service, rather than have to be subjected to faulty equipment and any other unnecessary or preventable hindrance to their educational achievement. This situation has been going on for far too long and it's time for real change to take place.