New secure Wi-Fi for public spaces

Erin Snodgrass

After problems with slow Wi-Fi last semester, students were welcomed back to campus with a secure Wi-Fi network in public spaces. Students are now required to log into “Wolf Net” in the Monroe Library, the Danna Center and the law library on the Broadway campus.

Ben Weil, student government president, said last year’s SGA president, Ellie Diaz, started the campaign to create a secure network. A social media page requesting better Wi-Fi was created, and Diaz spent time emailing the information technology department in an attempt to find a solution.

“In SGA we have this saying: that we have really big dreams, but one administration won’t be able to do it by themselves. One administration will spearhead it and do a lot of planning, and then it won’t be realized until later with a new administration,” Weil said.

Weil acknowledged that the Wi-Fi problem typically reaches its peak during finals time, when public spaces have an influx of non-Loyola Wi-Fi users.

“The Wi-Fi during finals time has always been hard; it has always been slow. It’s been a frustration for students,” Weil said.

Last semester, as a result of Tulane students and community members studying in the Monroe Library and Danna Center during finals, the Wi-Fi was unusually slow, hindering Loyola students. Tensions rose when a Facebook argument broke out on the popular Uptown messaging group Tulane Classifieds between Loyola and Tulane students.

Weil stressed that the slow Wi-Fi was not just a result of Tulane students. Community members often come to Loyola’s campus for the Starbucks as well as the study spaces in Monroe Library.

“We never want to come across like we’re shutting anyone out. That was never the intent. It was really a push to make sure the resources were there for Loyola students,” Weil said.

Weil believed the switch would have been too challenging to make during finals time, so the summer provided a prime opening to make the change. He also noted that one particular proactive senator, Victoria Cinnater, took it upon herself to send emails and organize a meeting to discuss the problem. Weil, who had just been elected as president, attended the meeting.

“It was really awesome to be able to talk to staff and really have our voice be heard. That’s where a lot of ideas started pouring out,” Weil said.

The switch officially began on Aug. 18. In an email sent to Loyola students, Joseph Locascio, senior director of information technology explained the details for new logins and passwords for the system. Students’ user IDs are their email addresses before the “@”” symbol, and their passwords are the first six letters of their LORA password, capitalized.

“I’m grateful to IT for being receptive and open to doing this. It’s a huge product to take on, and I think there are always going to be kinks in the first couple of weeks, but we’re going to work it out. In the long term, this is going to be a really great thing for Loyola,” Weil said.

Susannah Milby, theatre arts sophomore, is enthusiastic about the secure switch and is hopeful for finals time.

“I’m really happy because this means our internet is now protected from people outside the Loyola community, which then gives us better access when we are trying to study for finals,” Milby said.

Some students, however, have had troubles adjusting to the new network. Locascio sent out a follow-up email to students on Aug. 23, reiterating that the new password for Wi-Fi, Org-Sync, library computers and other programs is the first six capitalized symbols of their LORA password.

“I think right now it can be a little frustrating because people are still trying to figure out their passwords, but people are going to be happy when it’s finals time,” Milby said.