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From last Saturday to last Monday, the popular photo messaging application Snapchat did not seem to work for many students on the Principia Wi-Fi network. Some were totally deprived of selfies and such for several days, while others resorted to turning off Wi-Fi on their phones in order to use the app on LTE, 4G or 3G data networks. This occurrence was especially difficult for those with Wi-Fi-only devices like iPod Touches, as they had no way to connect to data or Snapchat-working Internet while on campus.
Last Monday, junior Kendall Shoemake made the following post in the Prin Student Government Outreach Facebook group: “This may be the most random post ever but snap chat does not seem to be working under prin wifi and I was just wondering if y’all knew why lol.” As of press time, his question had received 23 likes, a high number for a post in any of the Principia student Facebook groups. Sophomore Karen Greiner had a well-received comment, posting “#prinproblems.”
When word spread this past Monday that Snapchat was working on Principia Wi-Fi again, many people posted celebratory Snapchat stories or Facebook statuses. Senior Gavin Thomas capitalized on this excitement, making the following comment on Shoemake’s original post: “Now that snapchat is working any chance we have the same luck with some air conditioning?”
While mostly in jest, Greiner and Thomas’ comments do provide insights into what degree students perceive the administration as being aware of and responding to student needs and concerns.
Chris Hufford, the Computing Services director, provided the following statement to the Pilot on the Snapchat issue: “[Last] Monday, I verified with [CIS network security director] Chris Davis that we don’t block any Internet services other than those that have a demonstrated history of distributing computer viruses and malware. That list is dynamic and is managed by an offsite company. I also skimmed some of the 225,000 pages that Google found when searching for ‘Snapchat doesn’t work on Wi-Fi.’ Obviously, there is something about Snapchat that makes it flaky on Wi-Fi. [Last] Monday afternoon, I downloaded Snapchat and created an account from which I could do my own tests. I was able to send and receive from the St. Louis campus’ Wi-Fi. [Last Tuesday morning], I did the same test from my Elsah office and was successful.”