Senator Rooney spearheads effort to improve commuter WiFi access

Thanks to an effort from Megan Rooney and the office of Student Life, commuter students at Canisius can now access resident hall WiFi.

Students utilize the ResNet WiFi in a common room in Frisch Hall. (Lauren Schifley/The Griffin)

WiFi is an essential part of daily life in the digital age, so it makes sense that access to it is something that students were willing to advocate for. Commuters on campus were displeased with their lack of WiFi access in the residence halls as it would sometimes hinder their ability to work with or spend time with resident students. 

On Oct. 4, a new and improved WiFi system was launched that granted commuter students full access to the resident internet, “ResNet.” Instrumental in getting commuters this WiFi access was senior Megan Rooney. 

Rooney was inspired to take on this project as a senior that has commuted for the last four years. One source of frustration for her was the inability to get any WiFi service in on-campus housing, even in locations that are close to the main campus such as Bosch Hall and Dugan Hall. 

This particularly annoyed her for her first couple years at Canisius. Rooney further explained that the decision to revamp the system also came from her role as the Information Technology Services (ITS) liaison to Senate when she began to hear this concern from other students as well. 

As with any project, there were some hurdles to overcome; however, there was one that proved to be more challenging than the others. “Figuring out the best way to go about it and what would be the most cost effective was a hurdle we encountered,”  Rooney said.  

When working with Mark Piatkowski in Student Life, Rooney said that they discussed many different possibilities such as making the WiFi signal stronger in Palisano so it reached to the dorms or some kind of temporary access code, among other ideas.

 In the end, Piotowski and Rooney decided to allow access to ResNet for commuters as well as residents. Now, Rooney explained, when you go to the WiFi settings and click on ResNet there will be a new option added for “Non-Resident” or “Commuter” where a resident would typically click  “I’m a resident” for student’s that don’t live on campus.

Rooney has other plans in action for improving the campus’ amenities as she serves as the Facilities Liaison in addition to ITS. Rooney mentioned that she receives constant feedback on things that could be improved and how that helps her to figure out what the students really need. 

“Right now I am planning on working with ITS to analyze which computers on campus need to be replaced, particularly in club rooms,” said Rooney. “In terms of facilities, the Chair of Public Health Alyssa Deacon and I are hoping to get more hand sanitizers around campus, and also to find a way to advertise that we are a smoke free campus now.”

 Rooney would like for students to let her know if there is anything that they would like to see improved. She can be reached at rooney1@canisius.edu. 

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