A winner was chosen this month in the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s Instagram contest that tried to identify where students experienced gaps in Ohio State’s wireless network.
Students were encouraged to take pictures of spots on campus where they were having trouble with OSU wireless by using the hashtag #osuwireless throughout September. A winner was randomly chosen and given a $50 gift card to Tech Hub at OSU.
“The point was to see where students want wireless on campus,” said Randi Honkonen, a marketing communication strategist for the OCIO.
Joel Ruby, a third-year in new media and communication technology, won the Instagram contest with his photo of the statue in front of Thompson Library expressing his troubles with OSU wireless in the area.
Ruby’s caption read, “The Oval definitely needs a serious WiFi makeover, it would make studying on these gorgeous fall days that much easier.”
Some of the most tagged locations were the Oval, Mirror Lake, CABS buses and some bus stops, and several outdoor patios, according to Honkonen. The Ohio Stadium was another spot students tagged.
“We weren’t sure what to expect when we did it, but all of the comments and pictures were positive,” Honkonen said. “It was very informative and students were great about it. They were very willing to give feedback.”
Deputy Chief Information Officer Diane Dagefoerde said the goal of the contest was to establish a dialogue with the students about on-campus wireless data coverage, as part of a larger plan and strategy, called Mobile First, which is new this semester.
“It’s a project that intends to make sure that the university has consistent access and performance regardless of their location on campus,” Dagefoerde said. “We’re working on a proposal to get funding to close some of these gaps and having this information from students directly helps us make our case.”
Dagefoerde said that the idea behind Mobile First is to create a mobile-friendly campus.
“We, as an IT organization, need to work together to be able to have this seamless experience on campus,” Dagefoerde said.
She said that the OCIO really needs student input to help them address the wireless issues on campus.
“I can’t stress enough, the feedback we need from students is where,” Dagefoerde said. “If we have a location, we can do something about it. If we don’t, all we can do is share in the frustration and can’t really take any action.”
Ruby said he took the winning photo last July, but realized the Internet was a bit dodgy just after arriving his freshman year.
“I am hopeful that OSU can improve the wireless system on the Oval, he said in an email. “I look forward to potentially studying there my senior year!”
Honkonen and Dagefoerde both said that it’s very important that students are communicating with the OCIO because they are their main focus.
Dagefoerde said students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-688-HELP to communicate with the OCIO about OSU wireless coverage.
“We want to make this a dialogue with students,” Dagefoerde said. “We really care about making sure that students have the wireless coverage they need.”